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Matters Arising (The History of Britain Revealed)
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Mick Harper
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Samuel Pepys, naval mastermind and bureaucrat to the stars, achieved fame because of his hobby.

At his death, there were more than 3,000 volumes, including the diary, all carefully catalogued and indexed; they form one of the most important surviving 17th-century private libraries

We are back, I’m afraid, in the minefield of statistics. An unlikely event should not be dismissed because it is unlikely. The world is so full of events a fair proportion of them will be unlikely. It is only when an unlikely event gets entwined, other than via cause-and-effect, with another unlikely event that the statistical odds climb beyond unlikely and are headed for the ‘oddities list’. As that is what revisionists are in business to identify, we have coined a memorably Orwellian saying for the juxtaposition

One world record, good
Two world records, bad

Who is the world’s most famous diarist? Samuel Pepys. Who put together (one of) the world’s most important surviving seventeenth century private libraries? Samuel Pepys. Is there a causal link? Not one that springs to mind. And do not look for one from Pepys biographers – as far as they are concerned this is just one more reason for writing a biography of Samuel Pepys. We have a companion rule made even more memorable by the office McGonagall

One world record good,
Two world records bad.
Three world records
You’re being had
.
and sure enough

but there are other remarkable holdings, including over 1,800 printed ballads, one of the finest collections in existence
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