Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 482 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.


Second Reading

About Tuesday 1 August 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“I first to see the bridegroom and bride, and found them both up, and he gone to dress himself. Both red in the face, and well enough pleased this morning with their night’s lodging.”

It’s easy to see why newlyweds have come to prefer going out of town for their wedding night. What cheek!

About Sunday 16 July 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"...Lady Jem. must have something done to her body by Scott before she can be married..."

By the circumlocution I suspect Jem has an imperforate hymen requiring Scott, the surgeon, to perform an hymenotomy. We have no reason to suspect the neck straightening 5 years ago was not a success, and that whatever is now required is minor in that marriage not postponed.


How would anyone know she had an imperforate hymen before she was married?

About Sunday 2 July 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Yes, there are various meanings of "very poor" but Pepys used the phrase. He must have had something in mind. Perhaps Lawson left the widow with much more debt than assets.

About Sunday 2 July 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

"I hear this night that Sir J. Lawson was buried late last night at St. Dunstan’s by us, without any company at all, and that the condition of his family is but very poor, which I could be contented to be sorry for, though he never was the man that ever obliged me by word or deed." Which means he has no intention of parting with a penny of his 1450L to help the very poor family of a colleague. . Pepys can be tight sometimes.

About Thursday 29 June 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Andrew Hamilton: “This puts me in the camp of those who are skeptical about claims that "the science is settled," and leaves me curious about alternative hypotheses and alternative uses of human resources.” What professional or amateur scientist worth his salt doesn’t take this position? Science is never settled. It deals in probabilities, not absolutes.

About Tuesday 27 June 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

CGS says homemakers have gone the way of the buggy whip, but he means female homemakers who have found there are better things to do than be burdened with all the food preparation and clean up. You can be sure it’s a rare man who will step up to the plate, so sharing meals at home with others has become a rarity. Such a shame, how “homemakers” have dropped the ball.

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.

About Thursday 30 March 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

I wonder how Sam knew that Mrs. Martin planned to stay “monogamous” until her husband returns. I can imagine this scenario. Sam came sniffing around and Mrs. Martin was not interested so she gave him a good line about how she was remaining faithful.. She may well have had another bedmate and it wasn’t Sam. She found the perfect way to get rid of him and not hurt his feelings too much—and make herself look respectable at the same time.

About Saturday 25 March 1665

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“Easter and the holidays that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gregorian or Julian calendars which follow only the cycle of the sun; rather, its date is determined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explicitly laid down by the council. No details for the computation were specified; these were worked out in practice, a process that took centuries and generated a number of controversies. It has come to be the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March,[10] but calculations vary.”