Fiction Book Reviews

Historical Fiction | Entertaining Mr Pepys | Deborah Swift

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We’re delighted to be on tour sharing Alice-Jane’s thoughts for Entertaining Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift.

This is the third story in Deborah Swift’s atmospheric trilogy, bringing to life the women in Pepys’ Diary. Each novel features a different character and can be read as a stand-alone book.

London 1666

Elizabeth ‘Bird’ Carpenter has a wonderful singing voice, and music is her chief passion. When her father persuades her to marry horse-dealer Christopher Knepp, she suspects she is marrying beneath her station, but nothing prepares her for the reality of life with Knepp. Her father has betrayed her trust, for Knepp cares only for his horses; he is a tyrant and a bully, and will allow Bird no life of her own.

When Knepp goes away, she grasps her chance and, encouraged by her maidservant Livvy, makes a secret visit to the theatre. Entranced by the music, the glitter and glamour of the surroundings, and the free and outspoken manner of the women on the stage, she falls in love with the theatre and is determined to forge a path of her own as an actress.

But life in the theatre was never going to be straightforward – for a jealous rival wants to spoil her plans, and worse, Knepp forbids it, and Bird must use all her wit and intelligence to change his mind.

book cover Entertaining Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift

Entertaining Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift is available in digital, paperback and audiobook formats.


Entertaining Mr Pepys is an extremely well written and compelling story depicting the caged life that character Elizabeth (Bird) feels in a chauvinistic 16th century London.

As Bird finds herself cut off from friends, family and society her only reprieve comes in the form of the theatre. For her the distractions of the lights, colours, costumes and makeup help to elevate Bird’s position amongst nobility and within her own home.

For husband Knepp, security in life can only come through hard work, but this then incur his derision and contempt towards women, and in particular his wife. 

As Bird’s time in the lights of the theatre brings her into the company of Samuel Pepys, she begins to evaluate what she really needs and wants from life.

An animated, and thoroughly enjoyable read! 

Alice-Jane guest reviewer on Jera's Jamboree

Author photo Deborah SwiftDeborah Swift used to be a set and costume designer for stage and TV before becoming a writer. She lives in the Lake District, UK. Now a USA Today bestselling author, she has published ten historical novels to date. Read more about Deborah on her website

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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