The Diary of John Evelyn

October 2004
384 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
First Person Singular
ISBN: 9781843831099
Format: Paperback
Boydell Press

The Diary of John Evelyn

John Evelyn

Edited by Guy de la Bedoyere

Evelyn was at the centre of English social and political life in the17c, friend of Charles II, member of Royal Society.
The Diary of John Evelyn (1620-1706) is one of the principal literary sources for life and manners in the English seventeenth century. Evelyn was one of an influential group of men which included Wren, Pepys and Boyle; a founding member of the Royal Society, he was also a friend of Charles II, a Commissioner for sick seamen and prisoners of war during the Dutch Wars, a prime mover behind Chelsea and Greenwich Hospitals, and a prolific author who wrote about architecture, art, arboriculture, fashion, and pollution. In his Diary he recorded the events and experiences of his long and remarkable life; there are also extensive references to his family, including his poignant recollections of the children who predeceased him.
This edition has been based on the only comprehensive and accurate transcription, by E.S. de Beer, published by Oxford University Press in 1955, but the text has been reworked into individual years and months while retaining the original spelling and grammar throughout.

GUY DE LA BÉDOYERE holds degrees in history and archaeology from the Universities of Durham and London.


Evelyn's social life, his contacts with public figures, his accounts of the Royal Society, his personal reflections, his comments on current events... his playgoing (of Hamlet he writes `but now the old playe began to disgust this refined age') - all these are here in full. For those who go to Evelyn for his literary qualities and his picture of his life and times, this is a well made selection, excellently presented. [Austin Woolrych] HISTORY
The diary's record of Evelyn's own life and that of his family, and the entries giving his comments on current events and on the great and good of his day...are what most readers are likely to value in the diary, and this readable volume should therefore serve its purpose well. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

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