Annotations and comments

Al Doman has posted 31 annotations/comments since 30 May 2013.

The most recent…


About Wednesday 7 February 1665/66

Al Doman  •  Link

@Louise Hudson:
If you've hit your thumb with a hammer many times, what makes you think Liz would do any better? (grin, duck & run)

Seriously though, in those days nails had a square cross section (not round), and typically with a square head. Four sharp edges on both. If the nail went in further than expected and trapped his thumb under the head, or if it folded over from being struck at an angle, any of those edges could do some damage. Crush & cut, rather than just crush injuries you might get with round section wire nails.

No tetanus shots back then...

About Monday 4 December 1665

Al Doman  •  Link

@San Diego Sarah: When fed "hermosa mohers" Google Translate suggests "hermosa mujeres", Spanish for "beautiful women".

If true, that doesn't shed much light on their occupation...

About Sunday 16 July 1665

Al Doman  •  Link

@Phil C:

By "carried" my first thought was "escorted". If the bride & groom are under the same roof there might need to be a formal process to tuck them in to their separate chambers and prevent any possibility of hanky-panky. The escorts of the groom (and my guess, the bride as well but Sam wouldn't see that side) would ensure that proprieties were observed.

About Thursday 4 May 1665

Al Doman  •  Link

Pop culture reference to the Diary:

The movie "Tully" opened in North America on Friday, May 4th. In it one of the characters, when it's time to retire, says "And so to bed" - and explains that it's an often-used phrase in this Diary!

About Tuesday 4 April 1665

Al Doman  •  Link

@Louise Hudson:

"I doubt there were many husband/wife operations in Pepys’ time." Do you have any references or research to back that up?

My gut feel is in those days of zero social safety nets people did whatever they needed to in order to survive. If a wife had skills and enough time to make use of them it would be in the best interest of the couple to make use of them. Linens vendor/seamstress seems plausible to me. Maybe lodging/inn, cook-house or tavern, lots of possibilities. Yes, any such joint venture would be the property (and responsibility) of the husband but that was the way it was then, no amount of complaining today can change that history.

"I suspect Pepys was not the least bit concerned with [Mary Batelier's] sewing abilities."

Bit of a spoiler considering this is her first mention in the diary, but if you'd taken the time to visit her references page you would have found there is no mention of any impropriety up to its end, and Sam periodically buys linens from her. More importantly she ends up befriending he and Bess, and over time becomes a regular visitor to her. As I read it, over time Bess spends much more time than Sam with her - she can thank Sam for the introduction.

Even today it's not a sin for a man to admire a pretty and friendly woman.

About Monday 27 March 1665

Al Doman  •  Link

"...each thinking the other a foole, and I thinking they were not either of them, in that point, much in the wrong,..."

Dunno about anyone else, but that's the best laugh I've ever had from our hero's reminiscences.

Très drôle !

About Wednesday 23 March 1663/64

Al Doman  •  Link

Islands "rising and falling": Hazards that are awash and appear or disappear with the tides accounts for some of this. However, my bet would be that most of the time, ships are simply not where they think they are.

In these days of sub-metre GPS accuracy it's easy to forget longitude was very inexact until the invention of reliable marine chronometers in the mid-18th century: . As a result a mariner could reckon (in the navigational sense) that he's in the same place on 2 different occasions but actually be in 2 different locations. If one is a shoal or island, and the other open sea then islands would "appear" and "disappear".

About Thursday 17 March 1663/64

Al Doman  •  Link

@Nick W: "... For all the advances in medical science that we rely on today I am Grateful."

Indeed. Not to mention the advances in all other facets of life.

In pretty much every way, a middle-class citizen of a first-world country today, has a better life than Charles II had in his day. Off the top of my head I can't think of *any* way Charles had it better.