Samuel Pepys, blogger

Now this is a good idea. Samuel Pepys (remember for the sake of your next cocktail party conversation that his last name is pronounced “peeps”, as in the phrase “Closer than my peeps you are to me“) was an Englishman who kept a detailed diary of his life in London from 1659 to 1669. In that span he had a front row seat for plague, fire, restoration, and enlightenment. More to the point, his records provide a wonderful window onto daily life in seventeenth century London. Since it is already presliced into day-sized morsels (and is safely past the snares of international copyright law), Pepys’ Diary has been set up as a blog by a clever fellow named Phil Gyford. The site is well-designed and well-executed. I particularly like annotations that people add to it. For instance, if Pepys mentions that he nearly ate a sack-posset, someone may well sign on and tell you what it is and how to cook it. Tasty! One question remains: would Pepys have blogged had he been alive today? It’s hard to say, since his diaries were kept in cryptic shorthand. Perhaps he would have preferred privacy.

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