Well, that’s certainly a good question.  Today does feel like it’s been a waste of time: a couple of emails sent; a couple of books ordered through inter-library loans; tracing some documents to the British Library; reading (well, skimming) a couple of hundred pages on early modern class and hierarchy for a seminar on Tuesday; re-doing a palaeography exercise on the National Archives website that I did about 6 months ago.  All a bit soul destroying really, when what I want to do is get on with my secondary reading for my project itself.

On Tuesday I attended the tutorial on early modern economic history, then a training course on planning my research (during which I probably did as much planning as I’m ever going to do), then I went and did an hour’s reading before heading off to the postgraduate seminar, this week on the Quaker ambulances in the Second World War.    Wednesday and Monday I spent at home reading, and yesterday I had my first official supervision meeting.  I tried to explain my research project to my two supervisors but I’m not convinced that they are fully behind the idea.  I had planned to use HGIS to map the distribution of the burnings, and to help plot any hot spots and investigate their connexions, but my new supervisors think that it’s likely to be a distraction rather than a help.  I’d intended to look at the Spanish influence, but I think my supervisors think that it doesn’t fit with the rest of the project and they are worried about the availability of source material.  To be frank, they think there might not be any.  They’ve got other ideas I could look into, but in the first instance I’m going to try to pursue what I first intended to, which means I have to locate the sources to convince them that the project is achievable.