Annotations and comments

Louise Hudson has posted 480 annotations/comments since 9 November 2013.

27 Nov 2017, 8:33 a.m. - Louise Hudson

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

26 Nov 2017, 4:53 p.m. - Louise Hudson

Interesting, Stan B. Do you know why this change has been made after so long? Does it mean the end of the red uniforms and Busbys? It won’t be the same.

26 Nov 2017, 7:47 a.m. - Louise Hudson

However it’s defined, Mrs. Lane, big with child, is in sad circumstances with a husband far away (and it was far away in those days). Let’s hope she has decided to stay behind only until the birth, perhaps with her mother, as many a young wife of the time did.

16 Nov 2017, 3:23 a.m. - Louise Hudson

I wonder if a blind alehouse was something like what were called speakeasies in the 20th century—a drinking place that had no sign, hidden doorways, perhaps no windows, where secret assignations could take place. Although actual speakeasies in the US were created during Prohibition to skirt the law against buying and selling alcoholic drinks, there were probably secret pubs for other kinds of subterfuge in many places.

11 Nov 2017, 3:08 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Jeannine: When the servants get sick like this, is it common for them to stay in their Master's house or return home for care? Granted she may be too ill to travel, but I'd be curious if Elizabeth is caring for her, other staff, etc. and what the norm would be. I suspect she stayed at the Pepys’. I think he would have said if she was taken away. Most likely it was Bess’s woman or another servant who took care of her rather than Bess. herself. Just basing this on my sense of how things probably were then.

10 Nov 2017, 4:51 a.m. - Louise Hudson

“The Duke of York is this day gone away to Portsmouth.” That sounds like the beginning of a Limerick or a nursery rhyme. It might be hard to find a rhyme for Portsmouth, though.

7 Nov 2017, 2:01 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Robert Gertz: Seriously, it's always interesting to me that Sam makes no suggestion that Uncle is seeking or getting anything from him; especially when Sam speaks of a good day with the Fishery Committee I'd expect to find evidence that our fishmonger Uncle has some finger in the pie but as yet, nothing from Sam indicating Wight is involved or even interested in his dealings. So far only in the business of the mysterious Iuduco Maes has there been any hint of Wight seeking favors or help from his well-connected nephew. —� It’s different when it’s in the family. Neoptism works both ways, from uncle to nephew and vice versa.

2 Nov 2017, 2:07 a.m. - Louise Hudson

He might have been, but I doubt he would have told her that. I think it’s more likely that he was feeling as if he spent too much on his clothes, so started worrying about money, and who better to take it out on than handy Bess and her “wasteful” ways with the household accounts.

1 Nov 2017, 3:28 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Yes, Sarah. I’ll bet she didn’t spend £17 on clothes for herself, either. I wouldn’t blame her for padding the books. Living with a man who watches every penny she spends but thinks nothing of decking himself out with expensive clothes would make any women rebel. She deserves every penny she manages fo squeeze out of the household accounts—more actually, but she probably has no chance to access any other funds. . I’ll also wager that she has no idea how much Sam spent on his new duds, nor how much he has “laid up”. Women had no right to know how much their husbands earned or anything about how he handled “his” money. I know for a fact that this attitude went on all the way through the 20th century in some families. Maybe it still happens today, in England, especially.

21 Oct 2017, 2:24 a.m. - Louise Hudson

“Then I to my office, where I took in with me Bagwell’s wife, and there I caressed her, and find her every day more and more coming with good words and promises of getting her husband a place, which I will do. “ Sounds like today’s Harvey Weinstein. “Be nice to me and I’ll find your husband a job, my little chickadee.” plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose

20 Oct 2017, 6:43 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Glyn wrote: “London women in the 17th century seem a bit more able to stick up for themselves than I had imagined before reading this diary.” I doubt many London women had the ability to do so. Most of them would have been burdened with a constant round of child care. Sam and Elizabeth were by this time married for 9 years. If she was able to conceive she could easily have borne five children by 1664. Effective birth control was unheard of. It’s unlikely she would have been out socializing as she was if she’d had a baby every two years or so as most of her peers would have had. Sam’s diary would have been very different.

12 Oct 2017, 2:40 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Lady Castlemaine's title was Lady of the Bedchamber. Indeed! (Alas, not the King's bedchamber.) Read about her fascinating life on Wikipedia. "[She] had many notable descendants, including Diana, Princess of Wales, Sarah, Duchess of York, the Mitford sisters, philosopher Bertrand Russell, Sir Anthony Eden, British Prime Minister from 1955 to 1957, and Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon." ----------- I suspect that when Sam says they "sat all morning," it was to engage in royal gossip, general chitchat and politics, as he does in the diary.

9 Oct 2017, 4:04 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Correction: " I think what Sam meant . . . "

9 Oct 2017, 4:02 a.m. - Louise Hudson

I think whay Sam meant when he said "rare" is that it was not commonplace. Not many people at that time could afford a piece of beef. Probably most people below Sam's class had never so much as tasted beef--which would have accounted for the vast majority of Londoners of the time.

8 Oct 2017, 2:03 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Robert Gertz: "...having bad words with my wife, and blows too, about the ill-serving up of our victuals yesterday; but all ended in love..." But for the black eyes and broken arms...True romance. I guess all we can do is hope Bess landed a few good ones. ---------------- Ii suspect if any blows were landed they were by Sam on the servants. Sam has admitted to hitting them before.

7 Oct 2017, 4:50 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Thanks to Pedro for the wonderful writing about "pit blowers." I grew up in New Jersey where we would hear factory whistles at noon, but my parents grew up in coal country in Pennsylvania where they would have heard mine whistles such as the ones Pedro writes about. My paternal grandfather, great grandfather and uncles were coal miners. There were railroad whistles, too, a very lonely and nostalgic sound at night.

5 Oct 2017, 4:36 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Australian Susan: "..the two she joyces..." "Is Sam being rude here? (it sounds very off hand to refer to relatives like this - even ones by marriage) Or would this have been a common 17thc usage?" Just being humorous, I suspect. I remember (in a later century, of course) Evelyn Waugh and his wife, who was also named Evelyn, being referred to as "He Evelyn" and "She Evelyn."

29 Sep 2017, 2:48 a.m. - Louise Hudson

"I know not how in the world to think of it, Tom Hater being out of towne, and I having near 1000l. in my house." Where did Sam keep his money before he accumulated 1000 pounds? Is there something magical about 1000 pounds? On many occasions in the past Sam has written of being worth something in the area of 900 pounds. Presumably a fair amount of his worth would have been in coin, but he seldom seemed so worried about his money being stolen before. Now he's not only worried about the money but his house, his wife and his office. It doesn't seem to me that any of those things are now more vulnerable to thieves or vandals, or whatever he's worried about, than they were before. As for marriage vows I don't know how marriage vows were taken in Sam's time, but it's usually been the case that men think "forsaking all others" is intended only for the wives.

24 Sep 2017, 2:18 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Cassidy "You were much more likely to die in childbirth if you gave birth in a general hospital in the late 18th century or later, since doctors might go from dissecting a body directly to the delivery room, without washing their hands." Or even going from one birth to another without washing their hands which was not unusual. It was later proven to spread puerpural fever. In those days, the only women who went to the hospital to give birth were the ones with complications, so the incidence of death would be high, especially considering there was very little a doctor could do with most complications, anyway. I think when Sam realized there would probably not be any children he started to think of all the things that would be tragic or just inconvenient about having and raising children, plus the expense, and focused on that instead of his loss. A very human tendency.

23 Sep 2017, 5:45 a.m. - Louise Hudson

Robert Gertz: "Perhaps not so much blase toward Bess' announcement as resigned to disappointment, it is hard to tell." That's probably what it was. Sour grapes, perhaps. I felt better thinking he was disappointed that they couldn't conceive.