January 12, 2008

The original blogger

The confessional diary-writing blogger that is..

From Garrison Keillor's Writers Almanac for 23rd February, 2007
It's the birthday of one of the greatest diarists in the English language, Samuel Pepys, born in London (1633). Pepys began his diary in 1659, and he would keep it for almost 10 years. It wasn't uncommon at the time for well-educated men to keep a journal, but most of these men wrote dry descriptions of their travels, politics, and public affairs. As far as we know, Pepys was the first Englishman to fill his diary with descriptions of his most personal and ordinary experiences: his aches and pains, what he liked to eat, going to the bathroom, his marital love life, and his extramarital affairs, graphic details that novelists wouldn't start incorporating into their work for more than 200 years. He also wrote about historical events like the Great Plague of 1665, the Great Fire of London of 1666 and the Dutch attack on the Medway in 1667. Pepys quit writing the diary in 1669, because his eyesight was failing and he was worried that he was going to go blind. He bound it in six volumes and gave it to a college in Cambridge. The first edition of it was published in 1825, and it kept being republished again and again, with more and more of the explicit entries included. The complete diary was finally published in 1970.

Note that Pepys was a English naval administrator and Member of Parliament but is today more known because of his diary. How some of us wish we could find fame because of our blogs! :)

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