On Tuesday 21st January at around 1.40pm GMT I’ll be interviewed live on BBC Radio London’s Robert Elms show about this site. It should be fun and you can listen live online. I don’t think it’s archived unfortunately.
News about this site and other Pepys-related events.
Please excuse a technical note… I made a few tweaks to the site today to try and handle a few glitches that had been pointed out to me. The basic font size had been measured in pixels, something I’d never done on a site before. I now remember why I hadn’t done this: Internet Explorer on Windows doesn’t allow the user to resize a page’s text if its size has been set in pixels. So it’s now set in ems. This may make the default text size look larger or smaller for you — if it’s completely unreadable let me know your browser and operating system.
I’ve also tidied things up a bit for those using versions of Netscape 4.x. It’s not pretty, but at least it’s readable! One problem though… I’ve managed to make the form for adding Annotations appear, but it still doesn’t work. The div below the textarea is mostly being displayed behind the textarea, rather than below it. This hides some text and on the Preview page the buttons don’t work. If you know CSS and can work out how to shift the text following the textarea down, do let me know! I was using Netscape 4.7 on Windows XP.
I’ve added some links to the Further Reading page. First, Robert Louis Stevenson’s essay on Pepys at Bartelby.com (thanks Kirsten). And then some more reviews of Claire Tomalin’s Pepys biography (thanks David):
Among many weblog entries about this site over the past few weeks, this one by Greg Elin is perhaps the most enthusiastic. Pointing this out might seem like I’m blowing my own trumpet, but that’s not my intention… the feature Elin raves most about is the annotations which, with a handful of exceptions, are not my work. The point is it’s the willingness of you to research and post useful information and links that makes this site, and the rest of the internet, quite so interesting. I was able to take some free text (from Project Gutenberg), publish it using free technology (such as PHP and Movable Type) and enable people to share knowledge. This is what it’s all about.
I created new pages for Hawly (an employee of George Downing along with Pepys) and Will’s (Pepys’ favourite drinking house). These seemed to be cropping up a lot so it made sense to stop any confusion and give them separate pages. If you have other nominations for their own pages, let me know.
There are a few paragraphs about the site in today’s ‘Circuits’ section of The New York Times (half way down the page). And ABC 702 Sydney radio in Australia broadcast a recorded interview with me about Pepys’ Diary a week or so ago, although there are no online archives. Maybe that’s a good thing.
The Public Record Office in London is putting on a costumed reading of excerpts from Pepys’ diary on 13th February including music and a chance to look at the office’s Pepys documents. There’s also an exhibition running from 5th February to 31st May. More details here.
In an annotation I’ve now lost (sorry), someone asked for more links to pages for people and places other than those that already have footnotes in the 1893 text, so that readers can add annotations. This is something I’ve considered, because the Victorian footnotes are somewhat erratic. However, if I added such links for every person and place mentioned, I’d be worried there would be too many extra pages for incidental characters about whom we will never have anything to say. That said, if you have a desire to annotate a character or place that doesn’t currently have a footnote page, simply email me with the name and the entry in which they’re mentioned. I recently set up pages for Pepys’ wife and maid after just such a request, and it’s not a problem.
A few people (such as in these annotations) have asked that diary entries display the day of the week. The reason I haven’t done this before is because I’m attempting to keep the diary content as close to the original as the web format (and the translations through Victorian editors and Project Gutenberg’s processes) allow. Pepys’ diaries included the month and year at the head of a page and each entry was marked with just the date. Occasionally he seems to have noted Sundays, but not always.
So, the question is, do I include weekdays on each entry, and if so how? Feel free to discuss this below…