The Introduction in volume I provides a scholarly but readable account of "The Diarist" "The Diary" ("The Manuscript" "The Shorthand" and "The Text") "History of Previous Editions" "The Diary as Literature" and "The Diary as History". He played the lute viol violin flageolet recorder and spinet to varying degrees of proficiency. After six months' service he travelled back through Spain accompanied by the Naval engineer Edmund Dummer returning to England after a particularly rough passage on 30 March 1684.
It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events such as the Great Plague of London the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London. His influence and reforms at the Admiralty were important in the early professionalisation of the Royal Navy. The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first publiSamuel Pepysd in the 19th century and is one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period.