Annotations and comments

Mary K has posted 1032 annotations/comments since 9 March 2007.

The most recent…


About Sunday 20 May 1666

Mary K  •  Link

Samuel's own coach.

He doesn't have a coach of his own at this date so that particular question doesn't arise.

About Tuesday 15 January 1666/67

Mary K  •  Link

Candle auctions

And let's not forget the candle-and-pin auction which is still held once a month in Horncastle, Lincolnshire at the Black Swan on South Street. In this ancient variant, a pin is pushed through a candle and the candle lit. At the point where the melting wax causes the pin to fall, the last person to bid wins the auction.

About Monday 16 April 1666

Mary K  •  Link

Pannier Alley is close to Paternoster Square (centre of the book trade) and a good step from the Navy Office. Much more convenient to see whether one of your regular booksellers might not be able to provide a small loan against future trade with a good customer.

When Pepys set out on his walk he might not have been sure that his ruled papers would be ready for collection and payment on that particular day. Hence lack of cash in pocket?

About Wednesday 21 March 1665/66

Mary K  •  Link

..and that my Lord Ashley did snuff and talk as high to him ...

Can't you just see that dismissive, nose-raised sniff? It's these little contemporary comments that bring the diary so vividly to life.

[ OED to snuff: to express scorn, disdain or contempt by sniffing.]

About Wednesday 14 March 1665/66

Mary K  •  Link

Wanton turns

Not necessarily "on the pull." Could be interpreted as "as the fancy took me." Wanton can have light-hearted, playful, frolicsome connotations. e.g. wanton tresses.

About Tuesday 6 March 1665/66

Mary K  •  Link

"my house happened to be mighty clean..."

The sort of statement that might be construed as passive-aggressive nowadays.

About Wednesday 28 February 1665/66

Mary K  •  Link

Perhaps Samuel was having a particularly self-indulgent day before Lent gets going in earnest. His self-denying vows may seem more important during a self-denying season.

About Tuesday 6 February 1665/66

Mary K  •  Link

Exchanging goods at the goldsmith's

This, surely, is the plate that arrived as an unexpected gift recently and was not thought very useful. Now being exchanged for items that are more to Samuel and Elizabeth's liking.

About Tuesday 10 July 1666

Mary K  •  Link

Early pasties and pies.

In the most elaborate of the early savoury pies, the hard-crust pastry case was basically used as a casing to keep the contents well-enclosed (and hence moist) during the baking. It was not primarily intended for consumption.

About Friday 25 May 1666

Mary K  •  Link

non-use of opium in the operating theatre

Perhaps the danger of laudanum etc. having a depressing effect on the respiratory system was recognised earlier than we might think. You do need to keep the patient breathing and a heavy, one-off dose of an opiate might be risky.