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Louise Hudson has posted 376 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.

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About Wednesday 24 May 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Funny how words get changed over the centuries and from country to country. We always sang “Ring around the rosie(s), a pocket full of posies.” We had no idea what ”rosies” or “ashes” meant and took it literally as ashes from a coal furnace or fireplace. It made no sense, of course, but that hardly mattered. I was much older before I heard that it was in reference to a disease such as small pox or plague. I don’t think adults would have wanted to frighten little kids by telling them what the song really meant. Whar’s amazing to me is that the song was still being sung in the 20th century in America.

About Thursday 25 May 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Ruben wrote: “In spite of all our exhortations, Samuel still writes this short entries from time to time...”

I suspect Sam often failed to write on the day in question. On this day when he had been working until midnight, there was probably nothing he could do but fall into bed, exhausted. He probably filled in the missing entries days later. Note the lack of detail about his activities.

About Saturday 13 May 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I was never one to constantly look at my watch, but when my watchband broke I took to putting it in my handbag, from which I would have to deliberately retrieve it to see the time, which I did relatively rarely. So I didn’t get my watchband repaired and carried it in my handbag or occassionally a pocket for a couple of years. Sam, of course, wouldn’t have had a wristwatch and would have carried hos watch n his pocket. Too accessible for Sam, apparently. Now we have cell phones and need watches even less.

About Thursday 11 May 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Sam would have called his mother “Mum”, not “Mom”.

I agree, he was probably slipped in short notes for the entries he didn’t make on the day.

About Wednesday 10 May 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Is there any reason to think Pepys mother came “out of the country” alone? Some kind soul could have accompanied her.

About Monday 17 April 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Brian M wrote, “we can see here that Liz has the means to be quite generous to the messenger. Five shillings is about a month’s wages for one of the maids.”

Of course it’s impossible to make comparisons about money because of myriad factors, but a poorly paid house cleaner in the US could expect at the very least $10 an hour, $400 for a 40-hour week, $1,600 for a month. Imagine giving a messenger a tip of an American maid’s monthly wage of $1,600! A very generous tipper, indeed. In addition, housemaids in Pepys’ time most likely worked far more than 40 hours a week for their measly 5 shillings a month.

About Tuesday 4 April 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Jesse wrote: “I'm assuming the shop is a husband/wife operation.”

I doubt there were many husband/wife operations in Pepys’ time. The wife may have done most (or all) of the work, but the business would have belonged to the husband. I think Pepys was trying to say the shop of the husband of the “most pretty woman” but used an awkward sentence structure.

Bradford asked if she could sew. I suspect Pepys was not the least bit concerned with her sewing abilities.