Annotations and comments

Doug Quixote has posted 10 annotations/comments since 23 October 2016.

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About Friday 16 January 1662/63

Doug Quixote  •  Link

As regards Captain Brewer, though as noted he was a master painter this does not preclude him from being a military officer. Remember the context for Pepys' older contemporaries: the entire country had been in civil war from 1642 (21 years before this diary entry) until 1650 or thereabouts. A master painter would be as logical a choice for an officer as any other in those circumstances, and the custom was and is to call an ex-officer by his onetime rank.

About Friday 24 October 1662

Doug Quixote  •  Link

"Double standard for the Queen"? Yes, but the double standard was actually between the monarch (male or female) and the consort. Henry V111 executed two wives and their supposed lovers, for it is and was high treason to have intercourse with the Queen and the Princess of Wales. But Elizabeth 1 had many lovers (not all documented) and Catherine the Great of Russia had even more and varied sexual activities . . .

Thus it was not a male/female double standard but a monarch/consort double standard.

I wonder what might have happened had Mary 11 (a joint sovereign with William 111) had had lovers?

Any views on that?

About Monday 15 February 1668/69

Doug Quixote  •  Link

Wikipedia claim that Jasmine was first recorded in English to mean a colour in 1925 (!). If Pepys meant that palest yellow colour - which the context suggests - then Wikipedia's claim is 256 years out.

I note also above pepfie's comment from 2012 that the 17th Earl of Oxford first introduced scented gloves to England in about 1576. And that Shakespeare frequently mentioned them . . . hardly surprising given that Oxford is the prime candidate for true authorship of Shakespeare's works.

About Monday 23 March 1667/68

Doug Quixote  •  Link

The discussion regarding Shylock is given an entirely different slant if Edward De Vere (who went to Italy and Venice in particular for nearly a year) was in fact the Bard. He met and dealt with Jews and those who loved to hate them. The plays set in Italy make a great deal more sense if De Vere the 17th Earl of Oxford was the author.

About Friday 29 November 1667

Doug Quixote  •  Link

And people wonder why we read Pepys' diary! This entry is so excellent for its honesty and how well it is written. It would be easy to say "Woken by loud knocking noises this morning; turned out to be only the chimney sweeps."

Don Quixote indeed!

About Saturday 16 November 1667

Doug Quixote  •  Link

Further to the prospect of impeaching the Duke of York, his offices of State included being Lord High Admiral. The defeat of the Navy in the recent war would give grounds for believing that his efforts were not up to scratch. If the detractors perceived a cooling between him and the King, his position was no longer sacrosanct.

About Wednesday 23 October 1667

Doug Quixote  •  Link

Credentials: in a stratified society like 17th century England, how one dressed indicated one's standing in society. If a suitably dressed person presented himself and stated that he was an officer of the Navy Board, that would gain him access just about anywhere.

(And woe betide anyone caught out impersonating one of their betters!)

About Tuesday 22 October 1667

Doug Quixote  •  Link

Noteworthy is that Wheatley (the Diary's editor, ca 1900) had long since given up censoring out Pepys references to his wife's menses. He even lets through other references which earlier in his editorship would have been the victim of his ellipses. But not all.

Victorian prudishness extended to Shakespeare (viz Bowdler), and they probably tried to do the same to the Bible - all that begetting and laying must have set them wincing . . .

About Wednesday 16 October 1667

Doug Quixote  •  Link

Greetings. I've revisited this blog recently and as a lurker caught up with every entry since virtual day one. My heartfelt thanks to you all for the annotations.

As regards the issue of a standing army, the country was then just two decades on from the Civil War between Parliament and King, with not one but two standing armies raging about the kingdom. The people are entitled to be a little concerned about a standing army in 1667.