I have often described the 17th century as the best century in history.
The Great Fire of London in September 1666 is one of the reasons why, though perhaps I should write “most fascinating” rather than “best” when one thinks of its devastation.
In September 1666, the Great Fire of London tore through and devastated the city creating a watershed in its history. London would never be the same again and today. Perhaps the reason why the decade of the 1660s has always particularly stood out for me in this century of turmoil and destruction, regicide and renewal, is the remarkable record passed down to us by the diaries of Samuel Pepys.
As some of you may know, I spent much of the first lockdown of 2020 recording readings on The London Storyteller’s youtube channel from Pepys’s dairies during the Great Plague of 1665. This podcast was recorded shortly afterward and I have been waiting for September to come round again before releasing it.
It was a good learning process and great fun to make. If audience enthusiasm encourages then there will be more on the way.
I hope that you enjoy this slice of London history from the perspective of Samuel Pepys. For those of you hungry for more, you may wish to take a look at my new privately guided tour exploring his life in London.