Annotations and comments

has posted 479 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.

Comments

About Monday 6 February 1664/65

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Graham T wrote, “The USA is the only major country still using Fahreheit - which is now defined as a sub-standard of Celsius/Kelvin rather than a standard in its own right.”

I beg your pardon, Graham! Fahrenheut IS the standard in the US. Except in scientific circles, temperatures are given in Fahrenheit almost everywhere in the US (or it’s occasiinally given in both Fahrenheit and Celsius) . Having used Fahrenheit my whole life, I have never been able to get my head around Celsius. I have to look it up every time to find out what the “real” temperature is. Everybody knows that 32 degrees is the freezing point of water, and 212 degrees is the boiling point! My sons, on the other hand, who have careers in the sciences, know Celsius like the back of their hands and often give me whithering looks.

About Sunday 5 February 1664/65

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“Lay in bed most of the morning, then up and down to my chamber, among my new books. . .”

This is confusing. What is his chamber? I always thought of a chamber as being a bedroom. But does he mean his “closet”? If so, it seems to be on a different floor than his bedroom.

I try to form an idea of the Pepys house’s floor plan, but I can’t manage it.

About Monday 30 January 1664/65

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“The truth is, my house is mighty dangerous, having so many ways to be come to; and at my windows, over the stairs, to see who goes up and down; but, if I escape to-night, I will remedy it. God preserve us this night safe! So at almost two o’clock, I home to my house, and, in great fear, to bed, thinking every running of a mouse really a thiefe; and so to sleep, very brokenly, all night long, and found all safe in the morning.”

This makes me wonder why he didn’t check his money BEFORE he went to bed. He writes of his closet. Where might it be located? If it’s off the bedroom, why wouldn’t he keep his money there? At least he’d be able to sleep a little better. Didn’t they have door locks in those days? Under what passed for a mattress might have worked, too. Sam doesn’t seem to be too inventive, does he?

As far as I can remember Sam never writes in his diary where he does keep his money.

About Thursday 26 January 1664/65

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Todd Bernhardt:

Poor Elizabeth ... a "tooth ake" could really lead to some painful "remedies" then...

True, there wasn’t much that could be done with a bad tooth in those days except to pull it—without any anesthesia, too. Horrible practice by today’s dentistry standards. Most people right up to the mid 20th century had lost half to all of their teeth before they were 40.

About Friday 13 January 1664/65

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“. . . his wife, Jane, and a sweetheart of hers”.

Note that this is a word SP uses to identify Jane’s companion. There is no indication that Jane called the person “sweetheart,” or referred to him or her with that word. It is purely SP’s opinion.

As for Peg Penn “wearing spots” in could have been a fabric with a pattern of dots, which might have been a new fashion phenomenon in those days.

About Monday 2 January 1664/65

Louise Hudson  •  Link

This is what happens in a patriarchal society. Sam does as he pleases and Elizabeth is supposed to do as he says without complaint. Glad she manages to get back at him occasionally, though it’s not often enough.

I remember another instance where a dog was brought in to mate and Sam became jealous of the male dog’s sexual opportunities. Sam helped by holding the female down. It got Sam all hot and bothered.

About Saturday 7 January 1664/65

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Miss Ann, wrote, “it would have caused great "interest" amongst my neighbours if I had a male visitor everytime my husband went to sea. Considering the formal niceties.”

Mrs Batten’s neighbors would have been “interested” and also critical of her but there would have been little criticism of her visitor. Men will be men, after all.

About Sunday 1 January 1664/65

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Austrelian Susan: “RG's note and also Tony's remarks about spreadsheets have reminded me of this: my younger daughter worked for a time in an Adult Store. It was called Wild Concepts, but traded as Technical Services Pty Ltd so any credit card purchases looked oh so innocent on credit card statements which might be seen by a wife's vigilant eye......”

Men! In cahoots then, in cahoots now.

About Thursday 29 December 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Makes you wonder why Sam and his colleagues didn’t think of bricks and planks of wood to hold books, much beloved by university students today. Bricks and planks must have been easily available in Sam’s day and would have worked as bookcases before he could afford to have bepoke ones made. All it would have taken was to requisition some bricks and planks and use a little ingenuity. Even Sam, who felt above getting his hands dirty with manual labor, could have pulled it off or had his boy do it.

Choosing to skip the dinner with Sir Penn and the officers in order to eat at home and rearrange his papers, I can easily identify with.

About Wednesday 28 December 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Todd Bernhardt: “Something tells me that the black eye has been a defining point in their relationship. In a twisted kind of way, this is a good thing, because it shows that such violence is not an everyday occurrence between them.”

Oh, yes, a black eye every few weeks or so should be seen as acceptable behavior from a husband.

Elizabeth sounds depressed to me. Bad sleeping patterns are a good indication: up all night, sleeping most of the day. She has good reason to be depressed.

About Wednesday 21 December 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Well, she is his cousin, so maybe he draws the line at family members. That she’s family doesn’t stop him from denigrating her: “we were glad to be rid of her, she fouling our house of office mightily.” Sam, Sam, Sam!

About Wednesday 21 December 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“I to Mrs. Turner’s, in Salsbury Court, and with her a little, and carried her, the porter staying for me, our eagle, which she desired the other day, and we were glad to be rid of her, she fouling our house of office mightily.”

Apparently Mrs Turner gave Pepys the old heave-ho.

About Monday 19 December 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Who “corrected” the husbands, I wonder. It seems that this particular husband needed a lot more correcting than the wife did. Might makes right, I guess.

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

About Wednesday 14 December 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“not being very well through my taking cold of late, and so troubled with some wind.”

He deserves a lot worse than a cold and a little wind. I’d hope for a good dose of the clap if it weren’t for poor Bess.

About Tuesday 6 December 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

“ . . . and so after many discourses and her intreating me to do something for her husband, which I promised to do, and buying a little band of her, which I intend to keep to, I took leave. . . . She is great with child, and she says I must be godfather, but I do not intend it.“

I wonder if he intends to fulill any of his promises he made.

Robert Gertz says, Sam is “a man of many lights and shadows.” Is that what they called sexual exploitation back then?

About Monday 5 December 1664

Louise Hudson  •  Link

Scurvy questions: Modern dictionaries also define scurvy as “contemptible and mean.” The mother of a friend when I was a child used the word to describe the cleanliness of her daughter’s neck!