Annotations and comments

mountebank has posted 89 annotations/comments since 11 May 2013.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About Tuesday 7 August 1660

mountebank  •  Link

Feel free to share the link San Diego Sarah. The serialisation is shaping up well and that first episode gives a vivid picture of some key events in less than 15 minutes.

About Tuesday 7 August 1660

mountebank  •  Link

This week the mid-morning book serialisation on BBC Radio 4 is an abridgement of
The Restless Republic - Britain Without a Crown by Anna Keay. This morning's episode was (spoiler) about the trial and execution of Charles I. An interesting listen and informative as background to the diary.…

On the strength of the abridgement, the book sounds pretty good too.

About Saturday 24 March 1659/60

mountebank  •  Link

Breaking news: in view of security concerns it's been decided that Charles' journey across the Channel is to be postponed until the situation improves.

About Friday 9 March 1659/60

mountebank  •  Link

"All night troubled in my thoughts how to order my business upon this great change with me that I could not sleep, and being overheated with drink I made a promise the next morning to drink no strong drink this week, for I find that it makes me sweat and puts me quite out of order."

Pepys does seem to have been hitting it hard recently. Is it as a result of stress in a time of general and serious uncertainty? Many around him also seem to be seizing opportunities to booze.

About Tuesday 24 January 1659/60

mountebank  •  Link

"Nowadays it's [Westminster Hall] where Royal Coffins are kept before their burials, including the Queen Mother and the last two kings."

That's a bittersweet foreshadowing from two decades back.

About Saturday 14 January 1659/60

mountebank  •  Link

Second go round for me. I tip my hat to the thirders. Thanks so much Phil for making this possible again.

I see at the moment we're tracking the diary with our current day of the week matching Pepys' day of the week although that changes at the end of February. We get back in phase in March 2024, and then will be flipping between in and out for phase until 2032.

Second Reading

About Monday 31 May 1669

mountebank  •  Link

Thanks Phil for doing this again (a two decade commitment!) and providing a second chance for some of us to experience the journey of 1660s Pepys. Without this website I doubt I would have read the whole of Pepys diary, and my life would have been poorer as a result. It's also been a joy reading a website for a decade having a clear presentation free of the visual gimmicks that are popular these days.

Goodbye to the other annotators. You've added so much to the experience.

Now, what to do with the Pepys-shaped hole in my life?

About Tuesday 8 December 1668

mountebank  •  Link

This is how to inspire loyalty in an underling. This will pay off for both Sam and Hewer.

"so went home to dinner ... and therefore put a bit of meat in our mouths, and went thither; where, with much ado, at half-past one"

It's a tiny thing but I always delight in seeing the midday meal referred to as "dinner" as is right and proper.

About Friday 20 November 1668

mountebank  •  Link

Very surprising comments from a decade ago about the need for Elizabeth to respond to betrayal compounded by betrayal, with added gaslighting which she probably (correctly) suspected was going on, by being calm and dispassionate.

Still, that makes for a more interesting discussion than a hive mind.

About Thursday 19 November 1668

mountebank  •  Link

Tricky isn't it? Not only do we have Sam-speak that sometimes is hard to get to the bottom of but we also have Sam possibly lying to himself, possibly lying to Elizabeth, and possibly both.

About Monday 9 November 1668

mountebank  •  Link

Pepys seems to be rather infatuated with Deb Willet, more so than the other women and girls he's chased. Is it because he was relishing the chase, having a growing expectation of conquest, and circumstances have now ruled out that he can complete the conquest?

About Sunday 26 July 1668

mountebank  •  Link

Starting in a couple of minutes on BBC Radio 4, an adaptation of Mistresses: Sex and Scandal at the Court of Charles II by Linda Porter:…

"Charles II was addicted to women and, after his restoration to the throne in 1660, despite being married to Catherine of Braganza, he kept a series of mistresses - many of them at the same time.

The most famous of them all was Nell Gwyn. She was loved by the British public who sympathised with her working class vulgarity and sense of humour. They didn’t take too kindly to the King’s French mistress Louise de Kéroualle, a powerful networker at the court with more influence than the Queen.

At a time when religious and political tensions ran high, with Catholics and Protestants fighting over the succession to the throne, these women exerted profound influences on him. For all of these women, the rewards were grand houses, titles with land and increasingly lavish pensions. Between them, Charles II fathered 13 illegitimate children while his neglected and unloved wife remained childless."

About Thursday 16 April 1668

mountebank  •  Link

I'm not enjoying this style of diary so much. The narrative is built around his expenses and likewise comes across as a series of transactions rather than the flow of a lively and interesting life.

I do hope that normal service will resume soon.

About Sunday 12 April 1668

mountebank  •  Link

Sometimes one just loses one's diary mojo. It is a repetitive task and is work, even if there's pleasure in it. I'm wondering whether with much of his household (ie "family") away, at the moment for Sam life just seems rather flat and he's not inspired to put great effort into his diary.

My very longstanding, and very Pooterish, diary has gaps like this. One thing I know from my own experience is that putting entries into my diary is rarely a faithful daily activity but is more a fits and starts thing based on notes I create either on the day or in the next day or two.

About Wednesday 25 March 1668

mountebank  •  Link

One could read "Petition of the poor whores, bauds, pimps, and panders, to the most splendid, illustrious, serene, and eminent lady of pleasure, the Countess of Castlemaine" as being a terrific bit of leg-pulling relating to how Castlemaine is perceived.

About Monday 23 December 1667

mountebank  •  Link

"he hopes that the kingdom will escape ruin in general, notwithstanding all our fears, and yet I find he do seem not very confident in it"

Hearing the worsening news in the UK over the past week and particularly today with tier 4 to be substantially expanded, I can't help feeling these words echoing today.

Merry Christmas everyone. Let's look forward to a much better year in 2021.

And as ever, thanks so much for providing this great site to us Phil.