Author: Andy Macfarlane

These diary entries were started for fun on 31 March 2020, two days after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown regulations for the Covid-19 pandemic. They were originally shared with friends on Facebook, some of whom were kind enough to say they deserved a wider audience. Covid-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe and left hundreds of thousands devastated and grief-stricken. It is not my intention to mitigate that. My aim is to entertain, hopefully with a degree of thoughtfulness, in an age of anxiety unequalled by anything most of us can remember. I try to follow two principles expounded by Dame Hilary Mantel in her 2017 Reith Lectures. The first is that fiction can fill in the gaps between known historical facts. The second is the slog of serious research. The ratio between these two I leave the reader to judge.

I am grateful to the erudite Pepys website https://www.pepysdiary.com for its support and commend it to anyone looking for factual information. If this blog enthuses you to search out The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A Selection (ed. R. Latham, Penguin Classics) and Samuel Pepys – The Unequalled Self (Claire Tomalin, Penguin Books), so much the better.