Annotations and comments

mountebank has posted 80 annotations/comments since 11 May 2013.

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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.

About Sunday 24 November 1667

mountebank  •  Link

BBC Radio 4 are currently broadcasting a programme giving a historical perspective on the Fire Courts:

"Jonathan Freedland looks at the huge backlog of legal cases caused by this year's COVID pandemic and compares it to the backlog caused by the Great Fire of London in 1666."

About Sunday 17 November 1667

mountebank  •  Link

That fits nicely James Morgan.

"It must have been very difficult to really understand what was going on in the world, even for someone in Pepys' elevated position in the government."

This immediately made me think of what's been going on in the US over the past couple of weeks.

About Thursday 24 October 1667

mountebank  •  Link

I came back to this entry to make exactly that comment William Mearns!

I've been trying to get to see SSAI for ages. Looks like I'll be waiting a while longer.

About Thursday 24 October 1667

mountebank  •  Link

That youtube link clarifies to me Pepys' comment "it do so far outdo a trumpet". It is certainly a trumpet-like sound.

About Sunday 13 October 1667

mountebank  •  Link

Thanks SDS, it looks like what I was missing was an understanding of all the different components of the trip. I had a look elsewhere to convert 20l into something more graspable and it looks like it's around 2 years' wages for a labourer.

About Sunday 13 October 1667

mountebank  •  Link

"evened with W. Hewer for my expenses upon the road this last journey, and do think that the whole journey will cost me little less than 18l. or 20l., one way or other; but I am well pleased with it"

Am I missing something or is that a considerable amount of money for 1667? If it's as large as it appears, it shows that travelling as a leisure activity really was a thing only for the most very privileged.

About Thursday 10 October 1667

mountebank  •  Link

By the time we got to "so W. Hewer and I out again about midnight" I was *howling* at this. In the past I've accused Sam of not doing humour but he's (inadvertently) proved me wrong here.

About Thursday 29 August 1667

mountebank  •  Link

"that would have sold his King and country for 6d"

It's interesting to see the phrase "would have sold X for sixpence" being used by Sam. It's still occasionally used these days although is on the way out.