Rare $322 Pepys diary is returned to south London library after 30 years

A rare copy of Samuel Pepys diary has been returned to a south London library after a 30 year absence.

The 1928 volume of Pepys diary is part of a set donated by Sir William Mallinson, worth around £200 ($322).

It was borrowed from Wallington Library in Sutton in 1981 by Australian naval officer Ron Robb while he was posted overseas.

While in the process of moving house Robb discovered the book, which had followed him back to Australia via Hong Kong.

"I…noted that it was part of a donated series and, being an honorary archivist for a college, I recognised that it might be quite valuable," he said.

Pepys contemplating his next entry

The library has waived its maximum £5 fine for the diary which forms part of Pepys' often bawdy account of life in late 17th century London.

Investors looking for a Pepys collectible that they can legitimately call their own may wish to consider items autographed by Pepys himself, such as this letter from Pepys to the King's attendants at Chatham.

The original manuscript of the diaries, formed of six volumes and written in Pepys' shorthand, is housed at the Pepys Library of Magdalene College, Cambridge.


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