A Plague on Mr Pepys
Perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, Alison Weir, Anne O'Brien and Elizabeth Chadwick, Deborah Swift brings a unique period in history to vivid, fascinating life in her acclaimed Pepys trilogy.
'An immersive and rich imagining of a mysterious woman from Pepys' life that will hold readers until the very end' Historical Novel Society
'A novel that transports readers with astonishing and engrossing detail'Readers' Favorite 5*
1665 and The Great Plague has London in its grip.
As the summer heat rises, red crosses mark the doors, and wealthy citizens flee. Only the poor remain to face the march of death...
Ambitious and attractive Bess Bagwell is determined her carpenter husband, Will, should make a name for himself. So she schemes to meet Samuel Pepys, diarist, friend of the King, and an important man in the Navy shipyards.
But Pepys has his own motive for cultivating Bess, and it is certainly not to benefit her husband.
With pestilence rife in the city, all trade ceases. Will is forced to invest in his unscrupulous cousin Jack's dubious 'cure' for the pestilence. But this only horrifies Bess and leaves them deeper in debt. Now they are desperate for money, and the dread disease is moving ever closer. Pepys's help seems to be the only answer.
But as with all bargains, there's a price to pay. A price that could cost more than Bess has to give.
The second in Deborah Swift's atmospheric trilogy, bringing to life the women in Pepys' Diary. The books can be read in any order as each stands alone.
'An intriguing and exceptionally beautifully written book' Carol McGrath, author of The Woman in The Shadows
Praise for Pleasing Mr Pepys:
'Swift is a consummate historical novelist, basing her books on immaculate research and then filling the gaps between real events and real people with eloquent storytelling, atmospheric scene setting and imaginative plot lines' The Visitor
'Laced with emotional intensity and drama' Readers' Favorite
'Pepys and his world spring to vibrant life...Gripping, revealing and stunningly imagined, Pleasing Mr Pepys is guaranteed to please' Lancashire Evening Post
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - PhilSyphe - LibraryThing
What I like most about this second instalment in Deborah Swift’s Pepys series is the feeling of “being there”. This is an author with a gift of bringing the past to life, be it by sight, sound, or ... Read full review
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
A Plague on Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift is compelling historical fiction, a story that explores one woman’s relentless quest to make life different for her husband. Not satisfied with her husband being just a mere carpenter, Bess Bagwell wants him to become part of the Navy shipyards, so she establishes an important connection with Samuel Pepys, who has strong ties to the king and who is respected in the navy. But does Pepys have any plans of helping Will or does he has his own personal plans for Will's wife? In a story set against the backdrop of the Great Plague, readers are introduced to compelling characters chasing wealth and opportunity, but can Bess Bagwell and Will save their marriage after the many losses that come with wrong choices, or will they be felled by the ever advancing plague?
The writing is awesome, atmospheric, and I enjoyed the way the author weaves historical details into the narrative. This is a great story that explores the workings of the hearts of characters, touching on themes like family, social crisis at the time of the plague, the morbid desire to gain wealth at any cost which leads to unhealthy relationships and scheming. The pacing is fast and the author succeeds in captivating the attention of the reader, thanks to the emotionally rich characters, the rising sense of suspense, and the masterfully handled conflict. A Plague on Mr Pepys is a historical novel that scores on multiple levels and Deborah Swift writes with the confidence of the masters in this genre.