Release Date - September 28th 2017
Publisher - Accent Press
Book length - 407 Pages
Buy links - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Chapters
ABOUT THE BOOK
Set in a London rising from the ruins of the Great Fire, Pleasing Mr Pepys is a vivid re-imagining of the events in Samuel Pepys’s Diary.
Desperate to escape her domineering aunt, Deb Willet thinks the post of companion to well-respected Elisabeth Pepys is the answer to her prayers. But Samuel Pepys’s house is not as safe as it seems. An intelligent girl in Deb’s position has access to his government papers, and soon she becomes a target of flamboyant actress Abigail Williams, a spy for England’s enemies, the Dutch.
Abigail is getting old and needs a younger accomplice. She blackmails Deb into stealing Pepys’s documents. Soon, the respectable life Deb longs for slides out of her grasp. Mr Pepys’s obsessive lust for his new maid increases precisely as Abigail and her sinister Dutch spymaster become more demanding. When Deb falls for handsome Jem Wells, a curate-in-training, she thinks things cannot possibly get worse.
Until – not content with a few stolen papers – the Dutch want Mr Pepys’s Diary.
“Swift brought Deborah Willet, the Pepyses, and the London of the 1660s to life in an exciting and sometimes touching way…I didn’t want to put it down, and found myself thinking about the story when I went about my day.” – Andrea Zuvich, Author of His Last Mistress
“Deb Willet, Elizabeth Pepys’s maid and the object of Samuel Pepys’s attentions, is finally given centre-stage after 350 years, and her tale was worth waiting for. This is exceptional story-telling.” – L. C. Tyler
“Laced with emotional intensity and drama, Pleasing Mr Pepys… (has) an intricate plot that features red herrings, unexpected twists, and surprises that will take readers on a very delightful ride.” – Arya Fomonyuy, Readers’ Favorite
Deborah Swift is the author of three previous historical novels for adults, The Lady’s Slipper, The Gilded Lily, and A Divided Inheritance, all published by Macmillan/St Martin’s Press, as well as the Highway Trilogy for teens (and anyone young at heart!). Her first novel was shortlisted for the Impress prize for new novelists.
She lives on the edge of the beautiful and literary English Lake District – a place made famous by the poets Wordsworth and Coleridge.
For more information, please visit Deborah Swift’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
I AM VERY LUCKY TO HAVE A FASCINATING GUESTPOST FROM DEBORAH SWIFT. READ ON TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE LURE OF THE 17TH CENTURY...
Fire, Plague and Loose Morals - The Lure of the Seventeenth Century.
By Deborah Swift
When I was writing my first book, I had no idea I would become a historical novelist. I simply looked for a period that would give my story the most tension. Ten years on, and I’m still stuck in the 17th century. People often ask me why, when the Tudors, Plantagenets, or Medieval England are so popular. Well here’s what’s so great about the 17th Century.
England went to war with itself, and in the process brother fought brother, and England almost tore itself apart. The army of the King, the Cavaliers, fought against Parliament and the Roundheads. Now wait a minute – the King is fighting Parliament? Yes, and that’s one reason why the period is so fascinating. It’s a time when the country is deciding how it should be governed, and whether or not the King has any divine right to rule. Which brings me to…
Wikipedia lists 18 organised religious sects from this period – including the well-known ones such as Puritans and Quakers, to the strange-sounding Muggletonians, Socinians and Grindletonians. And in fact, this was just the thin end of the wedge – there were many other groups not listed who were developing their own religious codes of practice. And of course it was forbidden, and tantamount to treason, to be a Roman Catholic.
Charles II had been in exile in France before returning to claim his sovereignty after the Puritan repression. He was renowned for his many mistresses, (at least fifteen, including the infamous Nell Gwyn) and his gang of lewd courtiers (The so-called Merry Gang). At court it was quite acceptable for Charles to openly leave his mistress’s rooms and then breakfast with the Queen. The rest of Britain was anxious to do the same. Fun to write about, though probably not to live through!
Death and Disaster
The 17th Century saw two of the greatest disasters to the great city of London. The Great Plague, which was immediately followed by the Great Fire. One destroyed London’s population – 200,000 dead in 1665 and 1666. The other destroyed its buildings - 13,200 houses and 87 churches, 88 if you include St Paul’s Cathedral.
The 17th century saw the most famous trial for witchcraft in English history – that of the Pendle Witches, twelve women who were accused of consorting with the Devil. The case is well-documented, and needless to say, nine were condemned to death by hanging and the rest died in prison. Ideas of the supernatural permeated 17th century life, and were used to explain any disaster that wasn’t already explained by God’s punishment.
Arguably the greatest diarist in the English Language, he gives us an insight into the ten years from 1660. The diary was first published in the 19th century and has since become the primary resource for the Restoration era. His combination of personal revelation and the documentation of great events are eye-popping and fascinating.
I want to thank Amy from hfvirtualbooktours.com, and the author Deborah Swift, for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, and for such an interesting guest post.
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger, wife & mother who loves all things books!
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