Sugar, Spice, and Christmas with Samuel Pepys in the Early Modern World

Pepys was a rising star in the administration of the royal navy, and life for the sailors aboard the navy’s ships was tough. Samuel Pepys, the famous diarist of the mid-seventeenth century, enjoyed Christmas.  In 1661 he recorded spending a merry evening with friends; five years later, he wrote that he and his household ‘dined[…]

The Diary of Samuel Pepys during the Bubonic Plague in the 17th Century

He wrote of everything from daily death counts to quack remedies. Introduction In early April, writer Jen Miller urged New York Times readers to start a coronavirus diary. “Who knows,” she wrote, “maybe one day your diary will provide a valuable window into this period.” During a different pandemic, one 17th-century British naval administrator named[…]