Annotations and comments

Sasha Clarkson has posted 637 annotations/comments since 16 February 2013.

The most recent…


About Saturday 15 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

re Robert G on Margaret:
"one wonders if she's felt John has unfaired favored and spoiled Sam, his bright boy with the best prospects, over the others"

Sam has hardly been "spoiled": he's worked, grafted & networked for everything he's got. With Sam's help and encouragement, young John certainly has had the same advantages given him as Sam, ie St Paul's and Cambridge; he just hasn't made as much of them. Nor did he have the good fortune or ability to impress an influential relative with his personal qualities. Poor brother Tom of course did not have those advantages offered, but given his speech impediment, and the fact that examinations were oral, there was little point given the social realities of the day.

Sam's worldly success, and his closeness to old John may well have helped inspire young John's resentment, but one can't really blame the old man. Old John needed an adult helpmeet to manage the complex family affairs resulting from uncle Robert's will, which specifically named old John and Sam, as his eldest son, as heirs. At the moment however, Brampton is of no net benefit to Sam personally, as he is subsiding his parents living there.

About Tuesday 11 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Lady Castlemaine has just given birth (4th September) to her daughter Charlotte, so, whatever the state of her belly, she might not be looking her best at the moment.,_Co...

Alas for the ill wishes and Schadenfreude of the more respectable ladies in court circles, she retains her influence for several more years.

My guess re Will Joyce is that, for some unspecified reason, despite his distaste. Sam felt under a social obligation to invite him. I do find the description of Joyce's company as "chargeable and troublesome", rather amusing! :D

About Sunday 9 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

PS, the lower end of Seething lane seems much narrower on Google Maps: it isn't, but it *is* pedestrianised, as looking on Street view will show you.

In fact, if you use Street View to navigate, you will find several perspectives of Sam's own St Olaves. Frustratingly, you can't quite see the bust of Sam in the churchyard through the gates.

About Friday 7 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link


On his past form, if Sam had struck first, he's have been writing something like "God forgive me!" Then he'd have been wallowing in misery and self-pity for the rest of the day.

I'd guess that today he woke up feeling grumpy, made a sarcastic comment or two, and Bess clobbered him, after which they enjoyed making up.

I seem to recall that, describing his childhood in his memoirs, the late John Mortimer described "mutual torment" as "the chief pleasure of family life".

About Thursday 6 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I wonder whether the chine of beef was "rare" because it was unusual, or because it was lightly cooked? Rib beef is excellent when it's pink.

About Thursday 6 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I've just had a look at my local Ordinance Survey Map. The bay north of Tenby Harbour is marked as "Tenby Roads". In the summer season most of the boats are moored here, rather than in the harbour itself.

This is because
(1) The harbour doesn't always have water in it
(2) When the harbour is full, it's difficult to manoeuvre individual boats out of it.

So what's the point of the harbour, I hear you ask? Well, if on a fine evening one sees that the boats are in the harbour, and not moored in the bay, it means that south-easterly winds are forecast, or a storm is due. Although the roads give adequate protection from the prevailing westerlies, the harbour keeps the boats safe in really adverse conditions.

According to the OED, the use of "road" (or rode, rede etc) in the sense of a safe anchorage goes back to at least 1320. Today, the official nautical term is "roadstead".