Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 497 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.


Second Reading

About Friday 18 July 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"My" dining room . . . "my" house. I guess Beth is a guest or, worse, the help.

I know, I know, a different time, but still . . .

About Tuesday 15 July 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I think we may forget how young Pepys' wife was. Though they were married for 7 years she was only 22 in 1662 when this diary entry was written. She was still a young girl. She should have been "merry", especially when she was out with people close to her age.

About Saturday 12 July 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I won't soon forget Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey, asking whitheringly, "What is a week-end?" And that was supposed to be in the 20th century.

About Thursday 26 June 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Worms in fish won't kill you. There are worms in fish even today and we've all probably feasted on them. Preservation methods being so primitive in Pepys' time would have meant most fish were infested. Rather than pickling, per se, fish were probably brined with salt--though not long enough on the day sturgeon was placed before Pepys.

The refrigerator was, no doubt, a matter of simultaneous invention, like the typewriter. Everyone on earth needed to preserve food and everyone needed a reliable way to do it. Someone, somewhere was bound to come up with mechanical refrigeration sooner or later. The person(s) who got it going would have been the one(s) who got the credit, which has happened with most inventions (of which necessity is always the mother).

About Sunday 22 June 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Although the London Foundling Hospital was not established until 1741, it provides a look into how abandoned babies were cared for in those years (not too well, of course). It is open to the public and is well worth a trip. It's at Brunswick Square. It's a view of history we don't often get--the history of the common people who struggled to survive in crushing poverty.

About Sunday 25 May 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"To church, and heard a good sermon of Mr. Woodcocke’s at our church; only in his latter prayer for a woman in childbed, he prayed that God would deliver her from the hereditary curse of child-bearing . . ."

Of course, being a man, Mr. Woodcocke himself would never think that he (or any man) was able to deliver his wife from the "hereditary curse of childbearing." It was apparently all God's doing and had nothing to do with human males.

About Monday 19 May 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"Long in bed, sometimes scolding with my wife, "

Probably bickering, as married couples are wont to do. 

"and walked and eat some cheesecake and gammon of bacon, but when I was come home I was sick, forced to vomit it up again."

Cheesecake and bacon, no wonder he was sick. 

"So my wife walking and singing upon the leads till very late, it being pleasant and moonshine."

Liz apparently got over any annoyance at the "scolding" or bickering. Maybe she thought his being sick served him right.

About Saturday 10 May 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Her position at Court was Lady of the Bedchamber--a ftting position. She had one child, supposedly but not definitely by her husband, Lord Palmer, before her liaison with the King and five more whom the King acknowledged as his. She remained married to Lord Palmer.

Interesting article here:…

About Monday 5 May 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Serafina and Mary, notice he said his wife is shopping for a gown for him, not herself--probably some sort of nightshirt for wearing to bed, or a dressing gown.

About Saturday 19 April 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

". . .but there rather appeared the symptoms of an universal face of Sadness in that vast and generally tumultuous Assembly, who were the Spectators of their several Deaths."

"So to the office, then home to dinner . . "

Seeing three human beings hanged and quartered doesn't seem to have created "a face of sadness" on Sam nor did it have had any apparent negative effect on his appetite--nor his conscience. Just another bit of pleasant entertainment to round out the day.

About Friday 18 April 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Sam doesn't draw the line at beating boys. He has also beaten female servants and written about it in his diary. . I wonder if he beats Elzabeth, there being no law or custom against it. I doubt he'd mention it in his diary, though. I wonder if he could be beaten by his superiors for supposed lapses. Beatings of social inferiors seemed to be common and accepted in Sam's day and continued well into the 20th century. I'd rather think Sam was above that, but apparently not.

About Monday 14 April 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"Being weary last night I lay very long in bed to-day, talking with my wife, and persuaded her to go to Brampton, and take Sarah with her, next week, to cure her ague by change of ayre, and we agreed all things therein.

"So home and walked upon the leads with my wife, and whether she suspected anything or no I know not, but she is quite off of her going to Brampton, which something troubles me, and yet all my design was that I might the freer go to Portsmouth when the rest go to pay off the yards there, which will be very shortly. But I will get off if I can."

Does that not sound like manipulation by Sam to you? I see no evidence of Elizabeth doing any manipulating. She merely suggested she might not go and it sent Sam into a tailspin.

About Wednesday 9 April 1662

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"At dinner Sir George showed me an account in French of the great famine, which is to the greatest extremity in some part of France at this day, which is very strange. . .

. . .and so home. Supper and to bed."

(And let the French eat cake.)

About Thursday 20 March 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Jesse wrote

"my mind in good ease when I mind business, which methinks should be a good argument to me never to do otherwise."

"While I certainly can sympathize, what kind of diary would that make?"
I am pretty sure Sam kept his diary for himself, alone, so it wouldn't matter what kind of diary it might make for others. I'm also sure he would be horrified at the thought that it would be published. He wrote much of it in code and probably thought no one would ever figure it out--or even want to try. He would never have guessed that people in many countries some 400 years after he wrote it would be reading it.

About Friday 14 February 1661/62

Louise Hudson  •  Link

A thousand pounds here, a thousand pounds there, the next thing you know you're talking about real money.

(From a quote attributed to Everett Dirksen, Illinois Senator 400+ years later, though the amount was millions of dollars being spent by Congress. (Inflation, you know.)

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose