Monday, May 05, 2008

Overlook Preview: THE PLOT AGAINST PEPYS by James Long and Ben Long

Coming soon is a gripping piece of English history from the father and son writing team of James Long and Ben Long: The Plot Against Pepys: The Untold Story of Espionage and Intrigue in the Tower of London. The early review attention has been stellar.

Samuel Pepys is most famous for the diary he kept between 1660 and 1669, as well as his eyewitness accounts of the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London. As secretary of the admiralty, he played an important role in the development of the British navy. Yet in 1679, Pepys was imprisoned in the Tower of London on suspicion of treason, charged with being a secret Catholic and supporter of the Catholic Duke of York. Prolific novelist James Long and his son Ben Long investigate the mystery behind this arrest. Drawing on letters, government documents, and, where relevant for background, the famous diary, they piece together the plot against Pepys, identifying the role played by the mysterious Col. John Scott. The charges against Pepys were dropped a year later. While providing exhaustive sourcing, the authors present their findings in a non-academic style, more like that of a readable, entertaining crime thriller.”—Library Journal

"The authors recount how the Pepys investigation revealed the seamy underside of English political culture that included anti-Catholic hysteria, corruption, and betrayal. The story unfolds like a well-constructed detective novel, as each discovery leads to another layer of deceit. The Longs navigate the murky waters of the plot effectively, despite the large cast of characters and the narrative’s twists and turns. The result is an absorbing chronicle of political intrigue set against a tumultuous period in English history.”—Booklist

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