Annotations and comments

Mary K has posted 1023 annotations/comments since 9 March 2007.

The most recent…


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.

About Saturday 6 January 1665/66

Mary K  •  Link

Quite possibly.

One thing you can be sure of is that they didn't suffer from peanut allergy/anaphylactic shock syndrome.

About Friday 5 January 1665/66

Mary K  •  Link

Age of consent.

What may seem to us abhorrently low ages of consent presumably owed their existence to the precariousness of life in general in earlier times and the widespread acceptance that marriage was a financial as well as (sometimes) amiable contract. When family (and hence material) alliances could depend on the requisite marriage being accomplished, better not to take the risk of the female party, at least, dying before the contract was made.

About Monday 18 December 1665

Mary K  •  Link

to dog.

Often found in such expressions as "to dog someone's footsteps". To follow someone as covertly as possible, to trail them, to shadow them.

About Saturday 5 October 1667

Mary K  •  Link

Thy flattering picture, Phryne, is like thee
Only in this, that you both painted be.

John Donne (1573 - 1631).

About Sunday 3 December 1665

Mary K  •  Link

"and as merry as was sufficient"

Now, there's a carefully nuanced assessment of a social gathering.

About Edith Bell (aunt)

Mary K  •  Link

St. Leonard's Church, Bromley by Bow, no longer exists except for some residual ruins, having been hit by a flying bomb during WW2.

About Wednesday 8 November 1665

Mary K  •  Link

"not seeing of Christopher"

This is presumably the "little boy" whose reported illness caused Pepys qualms about the possibility of a case of plague in Mrs. Clerke's house a few days ago. Evidently the subsequent report of the lad's being well again didn't entirely convince Pepys that it had been a false alarm..

About Friday 27 October 1665

Mary K  •  Link

Kent Street may have been renamed Tabard Street, but if you pursue it's line about 150 yards further southeast, you find yourself in the modern Old Kent Road (A2). The Old Kent Road then continues in this same direction until it meets New Cross Road close to the junction with Pepys Road. Nice!

About Sunday 17 September 1665

Mary K  •  Link

The Dowager Countess's question.

The Dowager Countess is of a generation that did not use the term "weekend", which was a relatively recent introduction. She was accustomed to the phrase " a Saturday to Monday". In 1909 the editor of The Spectator was slightly sniffy about the "relatively modern" widespread use of the term "weekend".