Although Samuel Pepys is far and away the best-known diarist of the 17th century, John Evelyn is more historical. Pepys is gossipy and personal; Evelyn is more dry and circumspect and his diaries cover a longer period, from his birth in 1620 until 1704, just before his death. Friends and contemporaries, they were both members of the Royal Society established in 1660. Pepys was a dilettante and Evelyn was a genuine virtuoso, learned in the classics, the sciences, even horticulture, as his manuscripts at the British Library show. Like Christopher Wren, Evelyn drew up a plan for rebuilding the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666, but neither plan was accepted. Because of all the small owners, and the difficulty of determining “to whom all the houses and ground did in truth belong”, the City was rebuilt on its old foundations, though the streets were wider and the buildings were constructed of brick and stone, not combustible materials such as wood.
- Backstory for Muse
- Backstory for Conceit
- London Before the Great Fire of 1666
- Re-enactment of John Donne’s Gunpowder Sermon, 1622
- Shakespeare Without the Beard?
- Telling Time by Flowers
- Sources for my novel Conceit
- Read a Poem by John Donne
- Izaak Walton – Fisherman and Biographer
- Shakespeare Portrait Found–or Not?
- The Tudors Plunders History–and Art!
- Pegge’s Breasts: From the Louvre to YouTube
- Jeune fille en buste
- 17th-century Diarists
- The City of London Destroyed by Fire a Second Time
- Literary Fathers and Sons
- Were Shakespeare and Donne Friends?
- John Donne in the News
- A 17th-century Blog
February is shaping up to be an enjoyable month. Éditions Hurtubise is hosting a Valentine’s Day promotion for the French e-book/pdf of Muse for…