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Compare the character and writing of Rose Tremain`s character Merivel (Restoration) to Samuel Pepys.

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Introduction

Compare the character and writing of Rose Tremain`s character Merivel (Restoration) to Samuel Pepys. Samuel Pepys and Robert Merivel have similar backgrounds, with neither of them being born into the social positions they achieved. Pepys` father was a tailor, his mother a butcher`s sister and he was the fifth of eleven children. Merivel`s father was a reputable glovemaker, and little is known of his mother beyond the fact she was kind and dreamed he would have a `splendid future`. It is never stated whether or not he has any siblings, but if so they are not mentioned in the book. Both attended what would become Cambridge University: Pepys attended Magdalene College and Merivel studied medicine at Caius College. Pepys achieved social advancement through an acquaintance of his, Edward Montagu the Earl of Sandwich, although it was something he had to work hard for as one of the principal officers of the Navy. Merivel`s social progression was born of a combination of luck, the King`s pity and his personality. ...read more.

Middle

` They held similar attitudes towards women, and were both fond of pursuing them, although they differ in their achievement with women. With the exception of his wife Celia, Merivel is successful in his pursuit of various women throughout the novel, so much so that his relationship with several of them develops beyond a sexual one to the point that they become confidants to his various problems. Pepys is equally as ardent in his chase of women, however he is not quite so successful as Merivel, often not achieving what he set out to do, ` I stood by a pretty, modest maid, whom I did labour to take by the hand and the body; but she would not, but got further and further from me...And then I fell to gaze upon another pretty maid in a pew close to me, and she on me; and I did go about to take her hand, which she suffered a little and then withdrew.` Both men did marry, although Pepys married for love and Merivel for ...read more.

Conclusion

is their self-righteousness in regards to their recounting particular situations that is funny as opposed to the event itself, ` it being a very great trouble to me that I should have a sister of so ill a nature, that I must be forced to spend money upon a stranger when it might better be upon her, if she were good for anything. ` They also both come across as rather self centred. The character of Merivel admits to his self involved ways throughout the book, `So, to me again - whither my thoughts are extremely fond of returning,` and this personal awareness of his fault makes it a more endearing personality trait. Pepys vanity makes itself known in the need he felt to record his life and how distressed he was when he had to give it up due to eyesight problems,` And thus ends all that I doubt I shall ever be able to do with my own eyes... which is almost as much as to see myself go into my grave.` ...read more.

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