Annotations and comments

Sjoerd Spoelstra has posted seven annotations/comments since 3 March 2014.

The most recent first…


Second Reading

About Cookshops

Sjoerd Spoelstra  •  Link

Going out to eat at a French "ordinary" or cookshop was becoming more and more popular (in 1665) and visiting the French eating-houses in Covent Garden was considered most fashionable

Quote from:

Cultural Exchange in Seventeenth-century France and England - Gesa Stedman

About Hemp

Sjoerd Spoelstra  •  Link

I don't know how reliable information from the Universal Dictionary of Arts and Science usually is...but not in this case I think. Hemp is normally a unisexual plant with male flowers that produce pollen and female plants that have ovaries that will produce seeds. Not the other way around.

About Saturday 29 November 1662

Sjoerd Spoelstra  •  Link

From a site on french fashion:

In the 17th & 18th century peasants from the alpine region of Savoy would train marmots and dance with them as street entertainment. Basically they were a precursor to the more-famous organ grinders with monkeys of the 19th century. Only, y’know, with GROUNDHOGS.
<,,,,,>Mid-17th century Savoy had a strong link to France, as the Duchess of Savoy, Christine Marie of France, was Louis XIII’s sister. From 1637 onwards she was regent of Savoy, and the Duchy was effectively a satellite state of France. The close ties between the two countries saw her son marry two French princesses, and Savoyarde peasants, including the dancing-marmot street entertainers, travelled to Paris to find work during the economic depressions that plagued Savoy. The dancing marmots were so iconic that Savoyarde peasants were soon called ‘marmottes‘

About Cornelis van Drebbel

Sjoerd Spoelstra  •  Link

There are a lot of very detailed descriptions of the "Drebbel submarine" in the sites above and others, there even is a book about the subject from an american computer expert....and there have been replica projects, but one fails to find any sources for the submarine story other than very vague ones. The more detailed ones seem to contain a lot of wishful thinking: what if.
It is true that Drebbel in his experiments could produce oxygen, but one fails to see how this could be used in any practical way in a 17th century underwater rowing boat type vessel.
Diving bells of some sort had been used around that time. A semi submerged rowing boat seems to be much more useful in a military sense.

An interesting development is the theory that this painting by Van Dyck could be a Drebbel portrait: the two were at the same place at the same time, the beard is right and the is a lot of Scarlet dye in the picture.…