A funny, if almost certainly apocryphal, story about a PhD student studying Samuel Pepys’s diaries mispronouncing his surname while defending her dissertation. (via the excellent languagehat).
Although I don’t have the full edition of the diaries, I do have Latham’s condensed version and it’s one of those comfort books I dip in and out of on a regular basis. Yesterday I came across the following entry, which made me smile a lot:
“14 Jan 1660. Nothing to do at the office. Went to the coffee-house…”
A scenario I find myself in every now and then. Cross-checking with the online edition, it’s interesting how much Latham has trimmed. I myself trimmed a reference to listening to Harrington talk about his political ideas once Pepys got to the coffee house, but it turns out Pepys did a lot more than just sit around in Covent Garden whilst skiving off work. The sheer amount that Pepys managed to cram into his days, and the joy he took in doing it, is I think one of the reasons why the diary is such a classic.
And now for something completely different. I mentioned previously that I’ll be looking to explore ways in which historians are making use of the web. One very obvious change since my undergraduate degree is that lectures are now starting to be available online. Here’s a selection of some interesting ones I’ve found that cover the early modern period in some way: