Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 490 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.


Second Reading

About Wednesday 16 October 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

My Joy of Cooking cookbook defines sounds as cod cheeks. Pepys said they were excellent meat, which would fit, unlike fish bladders, as JWB pointed out.

About Sunday 29 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Linda Camidge, I think you're right and "foxed" was an antecedent to today's appellation, even if it did have a specific meaning in Sam's day. Words have a way of morphing and this is too good to deny.

About Monday 23 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Pedro wrote "Sam seeing that some of the blame, for the wrangling, may also be a fault of his father."

That's exactly the first thought I had when I read it--10 years after Pedro's annotation.

I know the history of this site, but, I, too, wish there could have been some comments between 2004 and 2014. Oh, well, That's life. And so to bed!

About Friday 20 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

This entry shows Pepys' writing at its most incomprehensible. Of course, to give him his due, he was writing it only for himself and presumably he knew what all this meandering prose and undefined terms meant. I only wish we, some 500 years later, could know what actually took place and what Pepys meant.

About Friday 13 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Nate Lockwood wrote, ". . . but I'm at a loss to understand a Canada potato".

Isn't it possible that the reference was to potatoes grown in and shipped from Canada, and not a particular type? Canada is and has been a large producer of potatoes, at least in the past few centuries.

About Tuesday 3 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Some Protestant sects were and still are adamant to distance themselves from Catholic rituals. The Anglican Church, however, kept most of them.

About Wednesday 4 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Oysters do spawn in the summer months and don't taste as good then (I've heard). There was probably an Old Wives' Tale that they were poisonous in the summer. Modern farm-bred oysters are eaten year-round and even wild oysters in the Americas don't seem to lose their flavor in the summer. Still, old myths die hard. In Sam's time if you managed to eat a bad oyster, or any bad seafood, it might create a very unfortunate reaction and there wouldn't have been any kind of medicine to relieve the distress.There were many food-borne illnesses back then and many Old Wives' Tales about foods as a result. Better safe than sorry.

About Tuesday 3 September 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

The devices for filing were probably spindles or perhaps filing boxes, though a "turner" would imply spindles. I suspect Sam stayed home all morning with his papers because he was eager to use his handsome devices, whatever they were--like new toys. He's still a boy at heart.

A. De Arajo: Priests even in the Church of England baptise babies "In the name of the Father, the of the Son and of the Holy Ghost" and make the sign of the cross. Maybe the priest omitted that. High Anglican churches were and are very much like Roman Catholic ones with all of the same rituals. Some would be hard-pressed to tell the difference.

Sam's mother may treat him as if he were a child, but Sam treats his mother as if she were a fool. What goes around comes around. I'd give him a hard time, too.

About Tuesday 27 August 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Too bad Sam missed the phrase, "When Mama's not happy, nobody's happy," by about 400 years. This would apply to both his mother and his wife.

About Sunday 25 August 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

" At last, after we had brought down her high spirit, I got my father to yield that she should go into the country with my mother and him, and stay there awhile to see how she will demean herself. "

Sounds to me as if he thought she was too "high spirited." Apparently not in keeping with how he thought a young woman should behave. In other words she refused to bow down to her brother! Good for Pall! I wonder how they "brought down her high spirit."

About Friday 23 August 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Bob T wondered how old Pepys' mother might have been when this was written in 1661. Pepys was only 28. His father was 60 in 1661 and was 32 when Samual was born. His mother could have been quite a bit younger since girls were often married at 15 (Pepys' wife was only 14 when they were married). His mother had 4 births before Sam was born, though they all died, making him the eldest. So Pepys' mother probably would have been in her mid 50s in 1661, too young to be suffering from dementia, at least by 21st Century standards. His father was more likely to be suffering from dementia but nothing was said of that. Unfortunately, whatever psychological problems a woman might have had were usually assumed to be just what one might expect from a mere woman who couldn't have had much sense in the first place. Women were seen as baby-making machines and housekeepers and little else. This was common until well into the 20th century and vestiges of it can be seen to this day, even in Western countries.

About Sunday 18 August 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

language hat on 20 Aug 2004    
"On the plains of Timbuctoo"

"I think it's a safe assumption that the author of that ditty was more concerned with rhyme and amusement value than the niceties of biogeography."

Cassowary is such an interesting name, too. Why wouldn't a poet or rhymster jump on it? He probably had no knowledge of where Timbuctoo was, either--another interesting name, four-syllable words are so handy and are often funny.

About Tuesday 13 August 1661

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Pepys writes, "To the Privy Seal in the morning, then to the Wardrobe to dinner, where I met my wife, and found my young Lord very ill. So my Lady intends to send her other three sons, Sidney, Oliver, and John, to my house, for fear of the small-pox."

Good grief. If Pepys had a clue as to how virulent small pox was, that's the last thing he would have done with the boys. If his "young Lord" had been exposed to small pox, the boys would have been exposed, and Pepys' whole household would be exposed, including himself. And if they'd been exposed they most likely would come down with it. It must have been a devastating time for everyone.