March 2016


If the blog has been a little bit quiet lately, it’s not just because of the teaching.  It’s also because I’ve been trying to set aside a couple of days each week to work on the book.  This task was interrupted at the end of January by the news that the application that I made in October for a British Academy postdoctoral fellowship had made it through to the second stage of the competition. Cue much excitement, but also plenty of work.  As I’m not sure I mentioned applying for the grant on the blog in the first place, perhaps I’d better mention that it involves studying the persecution of Protestants under Philip and Mary, using digital humanities techniques to investigate how much of the persecution was initiated at a local level.  In  theory, most of the work for the second stage of the competition was already done, because sections like the abstract and methodology could just be updated from the first round, but in practice, choosing a chapter of my thesis and generating a budget for the project was incredibly time consuming.  I’m happy to say that I had lots of excellent support from Lancaster University and that the application is now submitted, approved and supported by the head of department, Prof. Michael Hughes, so all I have to do is wait for the result of the competition in May.  Actually, since competition is so strong and even now the odds are not in favour of me receiving a fellowship in the end, what I’m going to do now is forget about it until May.  It’s still a good feeling to have got this far, though, as I never really expected that.

Being back in the classroom is still fun, but with all the preparation and with the marking that begins next week, I’m spending less time on the book than I would like.  Nevertheless, the first (extremely rough) draft of the first chapter has reached 6700 words, which does feel like it might have turned a corner.  Much of the rest is writing up work that I’ve already done, so I’m hoping to be able to move on to the last remaining chapter fairly soon.  Today, I will be reading J. Christopher Warner’s The Making and Marketing of Tottel’s Miscellany.  Which, really, I’d better be getting on with…

Daniel Laxer Historians tend to overlook the role of musical instruments in the Seven Years’ War. Few devote much attention to explaining how armies operated or battles played-out. Fred Anderson’s …

Source: Drums, Bugles, and Bagpipes in the Seven Years’ War