Annotations and comments

DiVan has posted two annotations/comments since 6 March 2024.

The most recent first…


Third Reading

About Wednesday 3 July 1661

DiVan  •  Link

"This day my Lady Batten and my wife were at the burial of a daughter of Sir John Lawson’s, and had rings for themselves and their husbands."
Apparently the husbands were not expected at the funeral even though John Lawson makes it a Navy-related burial. Anybody any ideas on contemporary funeral habits?

About Tuesday 5 March 1660/61

DiVan  •  Link

I do not want to add to the discussion whether annotations should be English only or not, but I'd like to draw attention to the fact that the diary is not written in English. Most of us read it in English, but it was written in the Shelton shorthand system. That's exactly why it has needed transcribing into English over the centuries. (I'm not aware of transcriptions directly from the shorthand into other languages.) Granted: Shelton's shorthand was English based and one could probably also say that Pepys was 'thinking' in English, whatever that may mean, but the actual writing wasn't done in English. Trivial? Consider the reception side: almost all diary readers, myself included, read the diary based on English that was not Pepys's. Furthermore, we're all familiar with the choices, interpreations that transcriptions bring. There's also an important impact of the diary not being written in English on the production side. Just a few days ago somebody pointed to the research of Guy de La Bédoyère who studied the impact of the limitations "Sheltonese" imposed on the means of expression of Pepys. Most famously we may owe the so-to-bed closure to the other-language shorthand Pepys was writing in. But the influence goes beyond that to the clarity of writing style: short sentences, and-then-and-then style of writing, "(and) so"-initiation of sentences (look at the entry of today). Chances are we wouldn't love reading the diary as much as we do if it would have been writting in normal, unhampered English sentences. Certainly not if you compare the diary with Pepys's public letter writing for instance.