Walking Pepys’s London by Jacky Colliss Harvey
Samuel Pepys walked round London for miles. The 21/2 miles to Whitehall from his house near the Tower of London was accomplished on an almost daily basis, and so many of his professional conversations took place whilst walking that the streets became for him an alternative to his office. With Pepys’s London, the reader will come to know life in London from the pavement up and see its streets from the perspective of this renowned diarist. The city was almost as much a character in Pepys’s life as his family or friends, and the book draws many parallels between his experience of 17th-century London and the lives of Londoners today. Colliss Harvey’s new book reconstructs the sensory and emotional experience of the past, bringing geography, biography and history into one. Full of fascinating details and written with extraordinary sensitivity, Pepys’s London is an unmissable exploration into the places that made the greatest English diarist of all time.
In my youth I really enjoyed reading Samuel Pepys’s diary his accounts of the Great Plague in 1665 and the Great Fire of London the following year both witnessed by Pepys’s and they offer a great insight of what it was like in the city as the rich and wealthy fled including the king. I have walked many times through London retracing the many key places of times past, but I was delighted to have received a copy of Walking Pepys’s London (Haus Publishing) by Jacky Colliss Harvey just released in a stunning read hardback edition simply perfect for your pocket.
Samuel Pepys was a great walker and he walked across London daily, and it is said that the streets were indeed his office. I have often thought about what routes he took and now Jacky Colliss Harvey has written a book that is a guide to five of the walks that Samuel Pepys would often take and now you can retrace he famous walks.
Each walk is of varying length and Jacky is your guide as you trace Pepys steps the author points out many famous places and landmarks. They are both entertaining and informative. Walks from Westminster to the City, a night walk, a walk along the river to Greenwich and even a New Year’s Day walk. Each synonymous as the great man himself would have walked each.
You will get to visit many famous places that would be of real interest to anyone who loves the city and its links to famous names, and many are pointed out.
The real beauty of this book is that you do not have to travel to London, from the comfort of your chair Jacky is your guide and there are maps that lead you along each walk.
The night-time walk is really a half-day walk through London then across the river to Southwark and to one of the oldest pubs in the country the George Inn which dates back from 1677 and a place I know very well and remains a place close to my heart. It is owned and leased by the National Trust and is worthy of a visit.
I really enjoyed Jacky’s writing as she guides you across the capital pointing out places of interest. If you enjoy history and London, I can really recommend Walking Pepys’s London by Jacky Colliss Harvey.
My thanks to Haus Publishing for the review copy of Walking Pepys’s London by Jacky Colliss Harvey
Walking Pepys’s London by Jacky Colliss Harvey is published by Haus Publishing and was published on 15th April 2021. Available to order through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop or through Bookshop.org that supports your local independent bookshop. UK Bookshop.org