Annotations and comments

Richard Bachmann has posted 11 annotations/comments since 28 April 2023.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th July 1661

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

I have only participated for the third reading, so thank you to anyone who has persisted down to this posting.
Perhaps it partially due to the long drought of entries we’ve just had, but this may be my favourite to date. Very much a personal Pepys dealing with family matters rather than ambitions upon the public stage.

About Tuesday 2 July 1661

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

Perhaps this has been noted before:
although not nearly as rewarding financially, Samuel Pepys could have had a thriving career as a drama critic.

About Monday 11 March 1660/61

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

From The Guardian (21 December 2010):
Almost every source on the history of Christmas pudding repeats the story that Oliver Cromwell somehow banned the dish. Rubbish. It's true that in 1644 the Long Parliament decreed in a gush of Puritan zeal that Christmas should be a fast day instead of a feast day (and what a difference that unassuming E makes), but Cromwell was then preoccupied with the small matter of the Civil War, so played no part in this legislation. In 1656, some even more fanatical Puritans sought to make celebrating Christmas itself illegal. But this bill got no further than its first reading and was subsequently dropped, and the feast/fast law lapsed at the Restoration.

About Thursday 17 January 1660/61

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

“a most noble ship. I never saw her before.”

I reckon that Pepys in his career ahead will be seeing a goodly number of ships for his first time.
Does anyone know, aproximately, how many vessels the Navy had at this point. And would it ever be likely or possible that one person could have seen all of them?

About Wednesday 9 January 1660/61

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

Today’s entry cautions me how casually we use the expression “up in arms” for simply being riled about some slight or the foibles of whichever current government. Indeed, those of Sam’s generation knew just how serious “up in arms” could be.

About Monday 31 December 1660

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

As the year ends, let me add my voice to the chorus and express thanks to Mr Gyford, and of course to Sam, for the pleasure each day’s entry has brought.
And as well, my thanks to the intelligence and wit of the annotators, past and present (a special nod to S.D. Sarah).
Happy New Year.

About Wednesday 10 October 1660

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

For those who wish to revisit the trial of Charles I and the motivations of the regicides, most especially John Cook(e), I would recommend "The Tyrannicide Brief" by Geoffrey Robertson (2005).

About Tuesday 7 August 1660

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

I have read Anna Keay’s Restless Republic and can recommend it unreservedly.
As well Jonathan Healey’s recent The Blazing World is most strongly recommended to any follower of Pepys and of this site.

About Wednesday 23 May 1660

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

I have only joined this Pepysian colloquium in its third iteration. However if I may I'd respond to this day's annotations, though twenty years on.
Why do people now want a king, again or at all?
I suppose the first and obvious reference would be Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, sometimes tutor to Charles II.
Next I'd suggest the recently published and splendidly readable history of England's revolutionary 17 Century, The Blazing World by Jonathan Healey (…)
Following that, if you'd like to follow the evolving notion of governance beyond Pepys's time, you might read David Runciman's Confronting Leviathan (…)
History is to some extent the history of missed opportunities and the seventeenth century had more than its share. On the whole, the populace (and that select smaller group, the citizens) often value stability over radical restructuring. And given the tumult since 1640 who really could blame them?

About Saturday 28 April 1660

Richard Bachmann  •  Link

May I take advantage of this somewhat uneventful day to recommend a book. I’m presently reading The Blazing World by Jonathan Healey (Bloomsbury in the UK, Knopf in North America). Healey covers the period from 1603 to 1689: James I/VI to William and Mary, superbly explaining the ( unusually confusing) political, religious, and social tumults of this period. It should be of interest to all readers of SP’s diary.