News about this site and other Pepys-related events.


Anyone fancy writing essays?

Wednesday 26th March 2003

A thought occurred to me recently… I was wondering if anyone was itching to write more about aspects of Pepys or the time he lived in. If so, maybe it would be worth creating a new section of the site for such articles. Every so often a new essay/article could be posted up and readers could, as ever, post comments. Any topic related to the diary or the times would be welcome (individual people, politics, language, fashion, etc.) and they could of course be rather longer than diary annotations. It might be a daft idea, or there might not be enough people interested in writing things — let me know what you think.

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New annotation markers

Friday 14th March 2003

You may have noticed the annotation format has changed, with the person’s name and the time now at the top. I hope this makes things easier for you.

Also, I’ve written something that marks which annotations are new since your last visit. It’s not foolproof, and because it relies on cookies(?) it’ll get confused if you use more than one computer or web browser to view the site. But I hope it’ll help make clear what you’ve yet to read. The Recent Annotations page is marked similarly.

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Creating a guide to annotating

Monday 10th March 2003

So it seems some people don’t want a discussion forum at all, and some think it might be a good idea. Given there appears to be little immediate demand, it seems a good idea to take a step back and look at what annotations should be. Having done that we can decide if our guidelines leave out other kinds of commentary that deserve an alternate home.

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What do you want from a discussion forum?

Sunday 9th March 2003

As previously mentioned, I’m currently looking at adding some kind of discussion forum. This would mean we can restrict diary entry annotations to more specific information, references and explanation, and move longer discussions elsewhere. This way those who are only interested in reading the diary and having obscure words and themes explained don’t have to wade through long conversations, and those who wish to discuss further can do so.

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Claire Tomalin answers questions

Thursday 6th March 2003

A while back I pointed to a place at The Guardian where you could post questions for Pepys biographer Claire Tomalin to answer. This week she’s answered them. (Thanks Kim.)

She says she’s tried to use this site in the past but has been “frustrated by the site crashing.” I’d love to know what browser and operating system she’s using, and what exactly happens, as I thought I’d squashed all such bugs weeks ago. If anyone knows how to get in touch with her…


A few new things...

Saturday 1st March 2003

I made a few little changes today:

  • Altered the template used for the search results slightly so more results will fit on a screen.
  • Added a list of the recently commented-upon entries in this Recent News weblog to the Recent Annotations page. Can regular readers think of anything else (annotation-oriented or otherwise) that would be useful on this page, as a one-stop-shop for viewing what’s happened recently?
  • Added a list of the most recently added background items to the front page of the Background Info page.
  • Changed the layout of the annotation forms slightly, to go along with recent improvements to the default Movable Type templates.
  • Added an FAQ in an attempt to answer some of the questions I get asked most frequently about the site in general.
  • Belatedly added background pages for William Prynne/Prin and Ralph and Sir Thomas Widdrington. (I won’t always mention when I add background items here, hence the new list mentioned above, but these characters have been the subject of recent discussion.)

Two diary entries today!

Friday 28th February 2003

It’s a leap year in 1659/60 which means we have two diary entries today, the 28th and 29th of February.

Update, 12.21 am GMT, 1st March: Anyone who looked at these entries before this time will probably have missed the 28th entry. Or something. Things got a little confused by me publishing two entries on the same day. Should all be fine now. I moved a couple of annotations to the 28th entry where they belonged.


Guidelines for annotations

Friday 28th February 2003

I have just deleted several annotations from the 25 February 1659/60 entry, sparked by a lengthy posting by Hhomeboy of an obituary of the historian Christopher Hill. Not only was it far too long but it was also irrelevant to the events of the day. This prompted much discussion of the worth of such a post.

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New things in the Background Info section

Wednesday 19th February 2003

I’m often adding new categories here and there in the Background Info section but I thought I’d just mention a couple of bigger changes today. I’ve added a lot of new categories and pages in the Food and Drink category and I’ve split the Places category into some sub-categories to make it more manageable. Thanks to David for his exhaustive efforts in the former case! As ever, let me know if there’s anything else you think would be useful in there.


Apologies for the recent disruption

Sunday 16th February 2003

All my fault; the perils of inputting new diary entries in the small hours! Sometimes this is going to happen and I’m not always online to notice. Thanks for all the concerned emails. You can be sure that if anything was to intentionally, as opposed to accidentally, change regarding this site it would be announced here.

And many, many thanks to all those who have sent money to Movable Type or Project Gutenberg, or bought me gifts! It’s all most surprising and brings a smile to my grumpy face!


The new Background Info section

Friday 14th February 2003

No doubt you’ve noticed the new section by now. Hopefully it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s a directory of pages each devoted to a specific topic. These pages can then be annotated with information or links to other sites. The information should stay rather more “current” than that posted to diary entries which tend to “fade away” as we move through the diary. The People and Places pages are now integrated into this section.

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Steve Coogan to play Pepys in BBC drama

Monday 10th February 2003

The Mirror has a brief story about Steve Coogan playing Samuel Pepys in a one-off drama as part of a BBC 2 series about “famous literary figures.” Filming is in the summer. For non-British readers, Steve Coogan is best known for his comedy character Alan Partridge, a TV presenter who falls on hard times and presents an early morning local radio show. It’s great stuff but his other work often doesn’t quite hit the mark (in my opinion).


How to support this site (not that you have to)

Monday 10th February 2003

A while ago a few people asked how they could support this site. To be honest, there’s no need — it only costs me time and this is what I enjoy spending my time on. However, if you do feel the desire to make some kind of contribution, I recently put up a page that details how you can do so, hopefully by donating to parties other than myself! But really, don’t feel you have to.

(I hesitated in pointing this page out to be honest, but a couple of people have just noticed the new link to it and suggested I did so.)



More background reading pages?

Friday 7th February 2003

Several people have suggested something I’ve been thinking about for a while: general pages for background information in addition to the People and Places pages. Given the amount of general information that is posted to diary entries that will be of use again in the future it seems an extremely sensible idea. It should help people who are new to the site find out common information without it having to be repeated too often (although we should accept this will happen nevertheless!).

There are two questions however: What pages should there be? And what should be the policy on annotating the pages? To address these in order…

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More Pepys Diary press

Friday 7th February 2003

There was a bit about the site in the issue of Web User that just left the UK newsstands; I didn’t read it, so I’m not sure what it said. I’ll also be interviewed by Valerie Richardson on WPKN in Bridgeport, Connecticut at around 10.30am local time today.


New Recent Annotations page format

Tuesday 4th February 2003

I’ve been working on improving the Recent Annotations page format, as it was rather unwieldy. I’ve now set it so that rather than listing the last 30 annotations chronologically, it lists the last 10 entries ordered by whichever has the most recent annotations. I hope that makes sense! There didn’t seem much point in the previous listing where most of the comments were on the current diary entry. This way, it’s easier to keep an eye on new annotations appearing on older diary entries.

I’ve also worked out how to include the start of each annotation, which makes it a bit more interesting. I’ve changed the recent People/Places annotations list to the same format too (I’m trying to split this into two separate lists but haven’t worked out how yet). I hope you feel this is an improvement; let me know!



What to do about plot spoilers...

Saturday 1st February 2003

David Quidnunc has suggested we should discuss a general policy on plot spoilers in annotations. Sometimes it seems necessary to divulge something that happens in the “future” to explain a point, but given that most of us don’t know what’s coming up for Pepys this might spoil any suspense. He says:

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