Welcome to Memoirs of a History Blogger IV! In these posts I share what I’ve been up to behind the blog. I like to chat about recent blog posts, podcasts that I’ve been listening to, books I’ve been reading, what’s new in history, and share blogging milestones.
History Related Matters
You may have noticed that I haven’t posted any blog posts for the month of March. It’s been a hard month to stay motivated and to find a routine. But I’m looking forward to getting back into blog writing and I have dozens of ideas for posts to come. I’m also looking forward to being able to visit historic sites again.
But I am happy to say that I have started something new this year. As of January, I started a postgraduate research degree. Up until a year ago I never thought I’d go back to uni, especially since I already have a bachelor and two graduate qualifications. But here I am today hoping to complete a 20 000 word thesis by October, and I am really enjoying the research and the chance to keep learning.
So, what am I studying exactly? Well, having spent a lot of time in the last few years delving into Australian colonial history, I have now gone back to my undergrad roots and am studying early medieval England. For those unsure of when that is, we’re talking 5th-8th centuries AD after Roman control of England ended and when immigrants from the areas of Germany and Scandinavia landed on its shores.
This is a period that has often been called the Dark Ages. Not true. There just aren’t many written sources to tell us about it. But there is a lot of archaeological evidence. In particular, a lot of cemeteries. So I’ve been spending lots of time reading cemetery excavation reports to discover more about women living in England in this period.
Recent Blog Posts
MOAT’s Top Posts of 2019. In this post I count down the top ten most popular posts published on Memoirs of a Teapot in 2019. Can you guess which reached Number 1?
Bligh: Hero or Villain. In December, I visited this Australian National Maritime Museum exhibition and wrote about my visit here.
C is for Copper Pots. This post continued the Historical Objects A-Z series and discusses copper pots.
Brethren. Catch up on my book review of historical fiction novel Brethren by Robyn Young.
For those interested in Roman Britain; check out a podcast episode called ‘UnRoman Britain’ on History Hit, published on the 26th January. It’s an interview between podcaster Dan Snow and Miles Russell, the co-author of a book called UnRoman Britain. His book argues that Roman culture really only caught on in the city centres and forts, while outside of these areas, Iron Age culture was still extensively practised across England. I am quite keen to read the book since it has such an interesting new interpretation of English history in this period.
Given this, my podcast recommendation for Memoirs of a History BloggerIV, is Dan Snow’s History Hit. Dan Snow is a general historian who interviews experts and eye witnesses of all types of history and time periods. So you are definitely going to find something you like assuming you’re a history fan. He posts a podcast almost every second day; mind blowing!
Off the Shelf: Books I’ve Read
I have finally finished Plantagenets by Dan Jones. Loved it! A review will be coming shortly, but I can say now that I happily recommend it to you.
I have also been reading lots of articles on early medieval England and have started re-reading Robin Flemming’s Britain After Rome. This book has a great narrative style and I am really fascinated by its description of what was happening in England after Rome pulled out. If you’re interested in a new retelling of post-Roman Britain then this book is definitely worth a read.
For a bit of relaxation, I read fiction novel The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern over January. It seemed more settled in the fantasy genre than The Night Circus and is clearly written for people who love books and words. It is lyrically written and the plot is very intriguing… I also recommend.
After The Starless Sea, I started on another historical work, Lucy Worsley’s Jane Austen at Home. Wow, I feel like I have read more in the last three months than I did last year! I will also be writing a review post on this book in the next month or so, so stay tuned.
Blog Matters and Milestones
In blog news, I have updated my website and given it a new look with a new theme. I realised early this year that my previous theme was not particularly responsive for mobile viewing. Since Memoirs of a Teapot has also been around for three years now, it was time for a refresh. I hope you like the new look!
This revamp also got me thinking about why I blog and what I want my blog to be. When I first started Memoirs of a Teapot, object stories like the spider-web tea set really inspired me. But I think that my focus has shifted. I will still be writing about historical objects. But I also want to write more about historic buildings, museums, books, and, since I’m back at uni, research and writing.
I hope you’ll join me to chat about the past over a cup of tea into 2020 and beyond via this blog!