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Alston Books

 

The Diary of Samuel  Pepys

Complete and Unabridged

 By Samuel Pepys

Edited and Formatted by E. B. Alston

 

In seventeenth century Europe, hygiene, fashions and sexual behavior were radically different from ours today. I’m not sure politics has changed very much.

Europe was just emerging from the dark ages and “civilization” was rough. It was believed at the time that bathing was unhealthy. And, to be frank it was a lot of trouble. No, as in zero, plumbing, Lamps were not available. It was candlelight, or nothing. Those exceedingly fancy dresses and men’s suits were never washed or cleaned except to brush off mud collected while walking on unpaved streets and roads. There were no deodorants either.

Samuel Pepys was probably lustier than most of the men of his day and, being sophisticated enough to exercise his intellectual advantage, he seduced, and was seduced by, several prominent women.  Probably “many” is more appropriate than “several.” I don’t believe he ever scored with one of the King’s favorite mistresses, “my Lady Castlemaine,” but he sure wanted to. At any rate, Samuel led a very interesting life, had an outstanding career as what became the Minister of the British Navy, was socially prominent and had a grand time with the ladies.

Plus, although he told us everything in his diary, he never mentioned that he took a bath.

 The estimated population of London during Pepy’s lifetime is 460,000.

 

     A note about sanitation in 17th century London. Streets and walks were not paved. There were no municipal codes and a fine house might be next to a slaughter house. Most houses had chickens, pigs and a cow or two. For transportation, you either walked, rode a horse or rode in a horse drawn conveyance. There was no piped running water and no sewers, no trash pickup. Streets were covered in manure, mostly horse manure but people also dumped their trash, dishwater and household chamber pots in the street. At the time motor vehicles were coming into use, a London Times editorial commented that gasoline powered vehicles would save the city from being covered in 18 feet of horse manure.

In 1959, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India still used chamber pots in his  English castle.

This is a most extra-ordinary document. Samuel's last posting will bring tears into yopur eyes. 

 

efw 

$35.00 
 

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