This afternoon’s job is to re-read a couple of articles by Ethan Shagan, because I suddenly realised that I have my 1549 rebels all mixed up together in my chapter and I don’t know which ones are which.  This opening up of the ground under my commonwealth chapter’s feet occurred yesterday afternoon and left me feeling rather grumpy, as I’m not sure I’ll be able to get it all sorted out before I need to submit my the chapter to my panel later next week.

On a brighter note, this week saw me getting stuck into reading about early modern news networks.  All very interesting.  What has been astounding all week is that most things I read at the moment are generating ideas not just for the chapter that I’m working on (be that the commonwealth or the final chapter on news) but for some of the earlier ones too.  This leaves me itching to go back and look at the other chapters again, but if I were to do that I’d be hopelessly distracted from the task in hand so I’m having to be very careful.  I have a notebook for each chapter, so I write my ideas and thoughts in them, but I also have a diagram of the thesis pinned to my study wall so I put little post-it notes on it to remind me of what needs doing to each chapter when I come to re-write it.  I must say it feels rather strange to be only one chapter away from a first, very rough, complete draft.  There have been several moments along the way when I thought I wouldn’t get this far, let alone to submission!  Apart from reading, I’ve spent a lot of time going through State Papers and re-writing bits of my commonwealth chapter yet again.  It was nice to get started on writing the news chapter, though, because the commonwealth chapter has been bogging me down.

I went into Manchester earlier this week to raid the library, then I met up with Sarah Fox ( for a brew and we had a lovely, long chat, something I haven’t done with any of my PhD colleagues at Manchester for a very long time.  Too long.  Nice to remember that I’m not alone in this mess we call research!

A friend at university shared this article on Facebook: although she pointed out that it doesn’t take into account the way people own things that they want people to think that they’ve read.

Guardian Bookshelf Article

Anyway, it got me thinking about my own bookshelf.  Or rather, bookshelves.  Offhand, I can think of 3 bookcases and 3 long bookshelves that are mine, and then there are the children’s, most of the contents of which I have bought.

What does my set of bookshelves say about me?  Mostly that I have a lot of books, but also that I don’t like getting rid of them.  ‘Old friends, old friends…’  No prizes for spotting Paul Simon’s ‘Bookends’.

At the moment, my books aren’t really in any order – the priority when we moved in was just to get them out of boxes and onto shelves, preferably but not exclusively in vaguely the right area!