Samuel Pepys and his Books: Reading, Newsgathering, and Sociability, 1660-1703

Hardcover | July 11, 2015

byKate Loveman

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Samuel Pepys was a great collector of books, news, and gossip. This study uses his surviving papers to examine reading practices, collecting, and the exchange of information in the late seventeenth century. Offering the first extensive history of reading during the Restoration, it tracesdevelopments in the book trade and news transmission at a time when England was the scene of dramatic political and religious upheavals. The investigation goes beyond Pepys's famous diary of the 1660s, employing a variety of sources to explore the role that reading played in Pepys's life and in thelives of his contemporaries. It begins by examining what it meant to be a reader in Restoration London: the skills, the people, and the places involved. Pepys's wide-ranging interests serve as starting points for considering news exchange and the reception of major literary genres in the Restoration. Particular attention is given to conduct books, histories, religious works, and recreational reading (romances, drama, and novels). The appeal thatthese works held for readers was not always what we might expect - or, indeed, what the authors and publishers had expected. Additional chapters explore the social interactions surrounding information gathering: the ways people acquired oral and written news in London; the experience of book-buying;and the acquisition of manuscript and print through social networks. Analysed alongside other records, Pepys's papers provide unrivalled insights into literary and cultural developments in the second half of the seventeenth century.

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Samuel Pepys was a great collector of books, news, and gossip. This study uses his surviving papers to examine reading practices, collecting, and the exchange of information in the late seventeenth century. Offering the first extensive history of reading during the Restoration, it tracesdevelopments in the book trade and news transmiss...

Kate Loveman is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature 1600-1789 at the University of Leicester. She is the author of Reading Fictions, 1660-1740: Deception in English Literary and Political Culture (2008). Her other publications include articles on book history, eighteenth-century novels, and the introduction of chocolate into Engla...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.09 inPublished:July 11, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198732686

ISBN - 13:9780198732686

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. 'Multitude of books': patterns of reading in Pepys's diary2. Books, education, and self-advancement3. Pepys and news networks in Restoration London4. Reading history in the Restoration5. 'Books of pleasure': Plays, romances, and novels6. Buying books in Restoration London7. Books, manuscripts, gifts: Scholarly and international networks8. 'Notes from Discourses touching Religion': Religious and scientific enquiry9. Libraries and closets: The uses of a book collectionAfterword