Tuesday, 28 December 2010
I am in deepest mourning for my external hard drive which expired on Christmas Eve. Archived on it was over 100 GB of work, photos and scanned engravings which I use for my features and books. I try to make hard back-ups on CD and DVD fairly regularly but can't be positive that I have got copies of absolutely everything. In the new year we will see if it's possible to recover some of the files, but I am not very hopeful! So a reminder to all my students - back up all your work at least once a week, more often if possible!
Friday, 24 December 2010
Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Pen & Sword books is now going through the production stages! Publication date is provisionally scheduled for the autumn of 2011, and I'll post updates on my blog as soon as I have more news.I have great pleasure in announcing that my book 'Tracing Your Canal Ancestors' for
Basin and ‘starvationer' boats. Lives of the Engineers: Brindley and the Early Engineers, Samuel Smiles, (John Murray, 1874.)
Monday, 20 December 2010
I was very busy finishing the typescript for my book 'Tracing Your Canal Ancestors' last week, so missed a lot of the fun and frolics for Jane Austen's birthday. If you are fed up with the weather and want cheering up, the Jane Austen spoof 'Sophie' on the Impressions Show is hilarious - great fun to watch.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
But coal’s success story had a terrific human cost: thousands of men, women and children were killed down the mines and at the pit brow. You can find out more about working conditions in the mines in my books The Children History Forgot and Narrow Windows, Narrow Lives. There are also some tips on how to trace your coal-mining ancestors, in my feature for this month’s Discover My Past England (now on Genes Reunited) and in my forthcoming book Tracing Your Lancashire Ancestors.
Images from the author’s collection:
‘How are you off for coals?’ Satirical postcard from the miners’ strike of 1912.
The New Hartley Pit disaster in Northumberland on 16 January 1862 killed over two hundred men and boys. This Illustrated London News (8 February 1862) engraving shows the long, sad funeral procession at Earsdon.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
I finally managed to catch up with Amanda Vickery's new series At Home with the Georgians, and this is a 'must-see' for all Austen fans. Vickery is one of my favourite authors on the period, and I thoroughly enjoyed the programme. When Vickery visited Chawton Cottage and sat at Jane Austen's writing desk, you could see the thrill she felt on being on such hallowed ground. Vickery also explored the other side of the marriage question through the diaries of some Georgian men - how they longed to set up home and have a soul mate to keep them company. Surely food for thought for all budding Regency novelists!