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.
‘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
‘Pepys and his world spring to vibrant life in an adventure brimming with espionage, danger, romance and flashes of dark humour…Gripping, revealing and stunningly imagined, Pleasing Mr Pepys is guaranteed to please…’ Lancashire Evening Post
‘The action never flags…Seventeenth century London is vividly evoked by descriptions of the crowded, stinking streets still bearing traces of the Great Fire….the novel provides us with a new view of the Pepys’s household through the eyes of a young woman who steps into the limelight from the shadows of history. Historia Magazine
‘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, historian.
‘The first chapter will suck you right in immediately; there is drama and intensity…before you even know who these characters are! I was hooked!’ The Maiden’s Court Blog
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