Annotations and comments

has posted 17 annotations/comments since 19 March 2021.

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About Thursday 6 November 1662

Michaela  •  Link

11 months earlier Sam mentioned a disturbing dream about his wife falling off a horse and breaking her leg.

About Tuesday 26 August 1662

Michaela  •  Link

Tales from the Green Valley! I absolutely loved this series and it’s hard to believe it is now 16 years old - I think still available on YouTube though. I suppose I realized even then that it was highly unlikely that the people involved really spent a whole year living in the 17th century, but it was such a fascinating insight into rural life not long before Sam was born.

About Monday 12 May 1662

Michaela  •  Link

Sam isn’t writing as a journalist, and he isn’t imagining eager readers from hundreds of years in the future frustrated by his lack of detail. Things that we long to hear about are just everyday background stuff to him. I suppose if we had a day trip to a local place of interest we would write a similar account in our own diary.
(I know I’m replying to a comment 16 years too late, this is beginning to remind me of Tom’s Midnight Garden”)

About Saturday 2 November 1661

Michaela  •  Link

I am also very grateful for annotations and links, it is only unexpected information presented without warning in the comments which affects the feeling that I am living alongside Sam. Like being yanked by the scruff of the neck back into the present. I also know that it’s impossible to eliminate spoilers already given, I was only requesting that no more be made by people still posting.

About Tuesday 3 December 1661

Michaela  •  Link

I think that maybe Sam interpreted the catty comment about unfashionably dressed wives as a jibe against his wife, and the unpleasant feeling (after all, we know he cares about her) remained in the back of his mind along with the discomfort of feeling that he might be leaving her unprotected against the scorn of women like Lady Wright. This could have triggered the dream of Liz falling and breaking her leg while at his side.
I don’t believe he saw her as a hindrance to his success, Sam doesn’t strike me as that kind of person.

About Saturday 2 November 1661

Michaela  •  Link

Please, please don’t post spoilers, I don’t want to know about Pepys’ future opinion until it happens. This really does spoil my enjoyment of the diary

About Wednesday 10 April 1661

Michaela  •  Link

which is now fitting for use, and the organ then a-tuning

I think Pepys today would say “which is now being fitted for use and the organ then being tuned”
At that time the passive form of the present continuous wasn’t used, I think even Jane Austen wrote “the piano is bringing” rather than “the piano is being brought” - but that might be a false memory of mine because I can’t find a reference to it in Google

About Thursday 24 January 1660/61

Michaela  •  Link

On UK TV about 15 years ago there was a wonderful series called The Supersizers go... where two well known presenters dressed and ate in the style of different periods of history. I have just rewatched the first 10 minutes of the Restoration episode on YouTube (the whole episode is there) and it’s as informative and funny as I remember - although they do say a clerk would have had a salary of 500l a years, which sounds like an absolute fortune!
It really brings to life the food and drink that we have read about Sam eating, and makes me thank the Lord that I didn’t actually live then.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCfx98Ei5lM&list=…

About Monday 5 November 1660

Michaela  •  Link

Hello San Diego Sarah, I’m not exactly sure how to do it, so I’d be grateful if you could post it for me - thanks

About Wednesday 16 January 1660/61

Michaela  •  Link

Ruth Goodman the historian, who has experimented in living for short periods as they did in other historical periods, says that not smelling bad was very important (in Tudor times, so I imagine In the 17th century too) as the link between bad smells and illness was clear. Outer clothes were not washed, but under linen might have been more often. Not every day though. The idea was to wash hands and face and to rub down with linen cloth rather than bathing.
She has found that washing the body in the modern way with soap but not changing linen leads to a horrible smell, but not washing but changing linen more regularly leads to no noticeable smell other than woodsmoke (in the context of a Tudor farm). Also, returning to the modern world, she found the smell of modern synthetic perfumes in soap and shampoo etc stuck unpleasantly in her throat. Although the very poor and struggling might have smelt much worse than today, on the whole people don’t smell better today - just different.

About Friday 11 January 1660/61

Michaela  •  Link

“A woman, a spaniel and a walnut tree, the more you beat them the better still they be”
I’m pretty sure that proverb was quoted fairly often in Sam’s time as wisdom - horrific to imagine now. I wonder what Sam would make of our lives today?

About Monday 9 April 1660

Michaela  •  Link

“Great rattling of guns”
I know exactly how Sam felt, as I live near Valencia in Spain, and fiestas here are celebrated with a mascletá, which is a deafening 8 minute display of pyrotechnics around midday which seems to punch all around inside your chest and rib cage and which fills your nostrils with the gunpowder smoke. Afterwards you feel alive, buzzing and sort of cleaned out. Reading his account, I felt I had been with him on board.