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History Into Fiction: The Writer's Art of Recreating the Past

A Pepys a Day

Writing a novel set in 17th century England? Or maybe you just need a little inspiration every morning.

Phil Gyford runs a fun website called The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Each day, he posts an entry from the renowned diarist who lived during the time of Oliver Cromwell and the Protector’s son, Richard. Gyford’s labor of love has been in progress since January 1, 2003, when he published the first of Pepys’s entries dated January 1, 1660.

Pepys was a burgher and an accomplished musician with a voracious appetite for pleasure equaled only by his lust for knowledge of subjects ranging from the classics to the sciences and arts. The taverns of London were one of his favorite laboratories.

Gyford is a bit of a Renaissance man himself, with interests ranging from acting to graphic design and illustration.

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