4 Annotations

First Reading

Keith Wright  •  Link

"It is a comment on [Pepys's] quality as a husband that in a diary which only once (in 1668) fails to record his own birthdays, those of his wife are not mentioned." ---This, from the entry on "Pepys, Elizabeth," in the Vol. 10 Companion to the Lathem-Matthews Diary (p. 317). Every reader of this Website will find this copious volume fascinating, indispensable, and well worth its modest cost.
The entry on Elizabeth also confirms the suspicion, voiced in the annotations to 4 February 1659/60, "Nor does he ever refer to her by name."

Grahamt  •  Link

If the diary was for himself, it is perhaps understandable the he doesn't name his wife. He only has the one and is not likely to need reminding of her name. "my wife" is quicker to write than "Elizabeth" even in shorthand. Similarly he usually refers to "My lord" rather than Sir Edward Montague.

Mary  •  Link

Sam's birthday notes

Let's not be too hard on Sam on this point. Having endured a pain-ridden childhood (Tomalin, op.cit. p8)and what could have been a very close brush with death when he was cut for the stone, he is probably very conscious of his own mortality and counts each birthday reached as a significant achievement and a further gateway to his ambition of acquiring preferment and place. So far we have not seen Sam actually celebrating a birthday; he merely mentions it.

Elizabeth is much younger than he and has not, so far as we know, been oppressed by any life-threatening illness, so her birthdays have less significance in terms of life and mortality.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.