Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 193 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.

The most recent…


About Thursday 24 September 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Four things occur to me as a result of reading the comments here.

1. Sam is 36 years old and a married man. He should be past his youthful indiscretions by now.

2. Sam claims to be a practicing Christian. At least he tries mightily to show the world he is a fine upstanding one, though that seems to have meant no more in the 17th Century than it does now.

3. Betty Lane may know what adultery is, but she has neither made nor broken any vows to Elizabeth. Sam, through his marriage vows, however, owes fidelity to Elizabeth, though no one would guess it knowing how he carries on.

4. A little guilt about his "poor wretch" doesn't change anything. In addition, what Sam has done for the Navy means nothing when it comes to how he has conducted himself as a husband and a presumed Christian.

Why shouldn't he be judged by what he wrote in his diary? It's all we know of him. Without the diary no one would be able to judge him on any level.

About Friday 4 September 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"Mrs. Harper sent for a maid for me to come to live with my wife. I like the maid’s looks well enough, and I believe may do well,"

Glad to see she measures up to his exacting standard for a maid. I wonder if she has any other qualifications. Would it matter to Sam?

About Monday 31 August 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Sasha Clarkson, do you really think Pepys never spoke the thoughts he recorded in his diary? They sound very gossipy to me.

About Sunday 30 August 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Hasn't anyone here ever used the phrase, "My [spouse] and I dined alone last night? It makes perfect sense to me and I've heard that sort of thing said many times with no one suggesting it's an oxymoron. If two people are in the habit of dining with guests, it seems perfectly correct to say they sometimes dine alone [together].

About Sunday 30 August 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

In the annotations it talks about Phil Gyford becoming more sensitive about copyright. Like most digital enthusiasts he evidently didn't start out thinking about it.

What does "L&M" mean?
L&M is an abbreviation of Latham & Matthews, the editors of the most complete published version of the diaries. While the text used on the Pepys Diary website is from the 1890s, and is occasionally inaccurate and incomplete (but free of copyright), Latham & Matthews' edition from the 1970s is complete, accurate and extremely well annotated (but under copyright). It is often referred to here to resolve confusions in the 1890s text, or provide further information. You can find links to the L&M volumes for purchase on the Further Reading page of the Encyclopedia.

About Sunday 23 August 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"Up and to church without my wife, she being all dirty, as my house is."

Interesting that Sam isn't "all dirty, as my house is" but Liz is. Aren't they living in the same house?

About Monday 24 August 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"I am told this morning of strange dotages of his upon the slut at Chelsea, even in the presence of his daughter, my Lady Jem, and Mrs. Ferrers, who took notice of it."

Funny how men, even up to today, naively think women and young girls will be shocked to know how men carry on, when surely they knew at least as much as the men did -- probably more. Who did they think they were protecting? They knew women might rat them out, that's why they "protected them". Nothing to do with protecting innocent women. They were protecting themselves.

About Saturday 22 August 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

People in Pepys' time believed a lot of old wives takes about food. They thought tomatoes were poisonous, too. There was good reason to be wary of acid foods on lead pewter plates. But having no knowledge of modern science, there were a lot of superstitions around, some reasonable, some not. If someone they know got sick and died after eating a particular food, they would reasonably blame the food. There were no reliable agencies to check the safety of food back then and few could read. It was every man, woman and child for him or herself--and people died like flies.

About Friday 21 August 1663

Louise Hudson  •  Link

£3,000 in 1663 would have an approximate standard of living value of about £414,000 in 2016. What household today would have £414,000 worth of linens?

The way Jinny was treated was the normal "foster care" system in London then. Orphans were little more than pests and were expected to earn their "keep." The mortality rate would be shocking to anyone today. They were certainly worth less than a few linens.