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Louise Hudson has posted 223 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.

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About Monday 7 December 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Australian Susan: "I actually envy Beth being able to snuggle up in bed and stay cosy warm with a good book: the equivalent here is being able to lie about in the air-con whilst others get sweaty and smelly."

I don't think lying in bed when you're sick or in pain is any kind of pleasure. It's nothing like playing hooky. In fact, I've found it dreadful. I doubt Beth is taking a nice day off. She's most likely in a great deal of pain and would give anything to be able to be up and doing something instead of being bedbound. Even the agricultural workers who stayed in bed to save on heat couldn't have been having a pleasant time of it.

About Sunday 6 December 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

My Dad, my brother, my husband, my sons, just about all the men I've known, have dressed themselves since the were old enough to do it for their whole lives. What did Sam need a boy to do to help him dress? Just run and fetch or was there more to it?

About Saturday 5 December 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Carbon monoxide can be produced by anything burning, including wood and ordinary coal. A stopped up fireplace or stove flue can create dangerous levels of CO. It's horrifying to think of the lethal conditions that people didn't understand in Pepys' time, and, in fact, for many years after.

About Wednesday 2 December 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

In those days people with toothache--and it must have been common--just had to grin and bear it. It must have been excruciating. They had opiates, though.

The toothbrush as we know it today was not invented until 1938. However, early forms of the toothbrush have been in existence since 3000 BC. Ancient civilizations used a "chew stick," which was a thin twig with a frayed end. These 'chew sticks' were rubbed against the teeth.
The bristle toothbrush, similar to the type used today, was not invented until 1498 in China. The bristles were actually the stiff, coarse hairs taken from the back of a hog's neck and attached to handles made of bone or bamboo.

* The first mass-produced toothbrush was made by William Addis of Clerkenwald, England, around 1780.

* Mass production of toothbrushes began in America around 1885.

https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/tooth....

About Sunday 29 November 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Al Doman. That attitude is what kept women subjugated for millennia. It was only when women came out of the shadows that they began to be shown the least bit of respect. It took 300 years after Pepys' time for women to find the courage to speak up for themselves and it took another fifty years or so for them to get any traction. Slavery was more easily overturned than the subjection of women, which is rampant in the world to this day. It's very telling that in the US male former slaves got the vote long before free white women or former female slaves did.

About Sunday 29 November 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I suppose Sam never thought of getting something a little less grand than his "best black cloth suit, trimmed with scarlett ribbon . . . with my cloake lined with velvett, and a new beaver . . . with my black silk knit canons I bought a month ago," so he could afford something nice for his wife. "Self-centered fop" springs to mind. Elizabeth should have insisted on going to church with him, wearing a plain, patched homespun dress and a cheap unfashionable hat and shawl to show him up! She could have borrowed them from her maydes if she didn't have anything plain enough.

About Friday 27 November 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Bradford is right, Elizabeth probably did as much as the maydes did and she was responsible to get it done right. She also might have been complaining that Sam is seldom home and that she is stuck in the house all day. She's a "poor wife" indeed. I suppose Sam thought he was doing her a great favor by coming home to dinner once in a while.

About Monday 23 November 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

". . . and I home to a speedy, though too good a dinner to eat alone, viz., a good goose and a rare piece of roast beef."

I wonder if he meant that it was rare to have a "piece roast beef" or that the beef was cooked rare? I'm guessing that they cooked beef to death in those days as I hear they did in England well into the 20th century. Unfortunately for Sam, et al, it was too early for Yorkshire Pudding, which wasn't invented until the 1740s, so Sam missed one of those perfect food combinations.

About Tuesday 17 November 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Rye bread: it was probably very dense and likely hard in those days. It would have been made with 100% rye flour, which would not rise very much. It could have been something like German Black Bread--certainly an acquired taste. Peasants probably ate it. Very unlikely to be anything like Rye-Krisp.