Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (Viking Penguin)
Claire Tomalin traces Pepy's youth before the diary began, the poor tailor's son, the schoolboy who rejoiced at the execution of Charles I, the aspiring clerk working form Cromwell's senior officials and his transformation into a royalist who helped escort Charles II back to England and the throne.
She illuminates his ability as an administrator and his greatness as a writer, and she follows the extraordinary switchback career of triumphs and disasters that continued for three decades after the diary ended. Finally she shows how he made sure that the diary would be preserved for posterity, and how it took three centuries for the full text to be printed.
As one of our foremost literary biographers Claire Tomalin brings a brilliantly fresh and original eye to a truly remarkable life.