Sunday, June 4, 2017

Disasters Lead to Children by Katherine Pym

Available July 1st
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One of the sources for my 17th century novels is Pepys’ diary. He wrote of his daily existence for the period of 10 years, from 1660-1669. His thoughts of what he saw include the king’s restoration and his coronation, which Pepys missed due to having to use the facilities, but he was in the nose bleed section and couldn’t see a lot anyway. He fitted the naval fleet for the 2nd Anglo/Dutch War and other journeys. He was in and about London during the plague and watched the great fire burn most of London’s inner city to the ground.

Samuel Pepys
Samuel Pepys (older)
I’ve seen comments that Pepys was a pervert because he was unfaithful to his wife, but more importantly, he was insatiable during the plague. 

I don’t want to defend Pepys’ actions, and I don’t approve of them, but after seeing hurricane Ike in full swing where everything in its path was lost, the philosophical of going through a crisis such this will bring a response to human survival. 

No one remembers Hurricane Ike (Sept 2008) because on the heels of its fury and destruction, the stock market crashed. Banks closed. The car industry’s back broke and all but Ford’s CEO’s begged the US Government for a bailout. 

Hurricane Ike

Ike had made a swath of destruction that almost equaled Katrina. Bolivar Island, near Galveston was all but flattened. The storm battered Galveston Bay and produced storm surges. They swept ashore, engulfing houses and sweeping them off their foundations. Bodies are still missing. 

I have a friend who had fled Ike as so many fled the plague in 1665. Thousands died of the pestilence. As Pepys went about Navy business, he saw death on all sides: 

“14 Sept 1665 – My meeting of a dead corpse of the plague, carried to be buried at noonday... –to see a person sick of the sores carried close by me... my finding the Angel Tavern at the lower end of Tower Hill shut up; and more than that, the alehouses at the Tower Stairs: and more than that, that the person was then dying of the plague when I was last there, a little while ago at night, to write a short letter there, and I overheard the mistress of the house sadly saying to her husband somebody was very ill, but did not think it was of the plague – to hear that poor Payne my waterman hath buried a child and is dying himself – to hear that a laborer I sent... to know how they did there is dead of the plague...”
Hauling away the dead

After seeing this, Pepys found hilarity with others who still lived. He drank and cavorted. He had sex with as many women as would have him. It seems, whether or not he understood it, his natural inclination was to continue the species as a virulent pestilence tried to end it. If he weren’t sterile, several Pepys’ babies would have been born 9 months later. 

In the aftermath of Ike, fishing boats, and yachts were strewn along the highway. Houses were in shreds. Families slept in their cars and tried to contact FEMA in the middle of the night. 

Men and women found each other and had sex. 9 months later, more than the usual babies were born. Catastrophes, horrible as they are, seem to keep our species alive and well. As everyone dies around them, they come together and attempt to preserve the human race. 


Many thanks to:

The Diary of Samuel Pepys, VI, 1665 Edited by Robert Latham & William Matthews, HarperCollins, UK 1995

Wikicommons, Public Domain, the Houston Chronicle, &

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