Waiting for Samuel

Waiting for Samuel

Thu 12th Sep

Elizabeth Pepys knows all about her diary-keeping husband’s dissolute doings in the fleshpots, theatres and coffee houses of Restoration London for, while it took scholars many years to decipher the system of shorthand in which Samuel wrote his famous diaries, Elizabeth mastered the code from the beginning and has only to read last night’s entry to find out what the ‘Dirty Little Devil’ was up to yesterday.

Luckily, Elizabeth has a sense of humour and, in any case, she has rather too many secrets of her own which she is quite happy to reveal to us – in confidence - though she has far more sense than to ever write them down.

Flicking back through the pages, she re-lives and shares with us the ups and downs of their married life – their wedding, the return of the King, Samuel’s steady rise to prosperity, the terrors of the plague, how they barely survived the Great Fire and how, though she has tolerated Samuel’s numerous peccadilloes, and often matched them with her own, she fears that he has at last fallen deeply in love with a girl young enough to be their daughter.

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