Samuel Pepys, my part in his downfall

History is to blame. Apparently. With thanks to Ralph Luker at HNN for picking this up. It’s an odd sort of thing, an essay on Pepys based around the recent Plot Against Pepys book, my Glorious Revolution book and the Penguin selected Pepys.

At least it markets itself as an ‘essay’ and not a review essay. I’m getting increasingly sick of those newspaper book reviews which spend 3/4 of the review telling you how much the reviewer knows about a subject (usually gleaned with no acknowledgement from the book they are actually reviewing), leaving just about a para at the end for some dismissive evaluation of the work itself. I want to know whether the book is any cop or not, not how clever the reviewer thinks they are.


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  1. I couldn’t agree more Edward. I wrote a piece for The Bookseller a few years ago laying into newspaper reviews and they have never forgiven me. Well, The Times has but none of the others.

    Everyone knows that the best reviews are online, posted sporadically over several months, by people who know nothing about the subject at all.

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