A busy week.

A busy week. Having spent much of the last ten days reading Burney’s brick-thick Cecilia, I had a rushed few days to prepare for the Friday seminar. That, however was fine. What was not fine was the fact that said seminar is usually on 9am on Wednesday morning. This meant that I had very little time to prepare for this week’s seminar. To make things even worse, this is the seminar which I’m supposed to be presenting on. Even worse, it’s in some sense graded. We have two seminars during which we’re supposed to present on the topic, both are graded, and the highest grade ‘counts’ towards that part of the overall grade. So I’ve spent the weekend working 12 hour days desperately reading every critical material available on Rousseau’s Emile and Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the rights of women, the latter I read several weeks ago (thank goodness) and the former which is short enough to skim.

13:08 the day before the seminar and I’m pretty much done.


At 3pm today Becky’s parents are coming up for a few days. At 5pm I have a 2 hour seminar on Nashe (at least, I HOPE it’s Nashe and not Bunyan). THANKFULLY I read Nashe’s Unfortunate Traveller a few years ago, in the second year of my degree. I even wrote a rather good essay on it. Furthermore, the seminar tutor’s way of leading the seminar is by treating it as a mini lecture. That’s not a complaint, he’s always got something interesting to say about the text du jour, and it taking place in the evening, everyone’s always a bit lethargic; even more so than the nine am weekly seminar. This week, however, it’ll be a godsend, as I’ve only had just enough time to reread the introduction and skim the wikipedia article for a refresh.

So I might just about manage. Maybe. Another issue however is the fact that I still haven’t finished reading Cecilia, have a driving lesson on Thursday, and a commentary due next month that I need to start thinking about if I don’t want to get overwhelmed. Oh and there’s also the small matter of a novel I’m supposed to be in the final stages of planning. 

Novel 3, which is really a radical re-imagining of novel 1; YA or not?

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself lately. I’ve spent much of the last month plotting and planning a novel which grew out of my first attempt at novel writing.. The thing is, is the fact that the novel revolves around a queer young person’s first year at University enough to qualify it as YA? The novel it sprang from certainly wasn’t YA, and the image which kicked off this imagining certainly wasn’t YA, so while it’s a teenage protagonist winding their way through a specifically teenage life, does that mean it’s tied to a teenage market?

In 1794 a histo…


In 1794 a historian living in East Hampton, New York, interviewed a seventy eight year old woman. ‘Mrs Miller,’ he discovered, remembers well when they first began to drink tea on the east end of Long Island.’ She explained that none of the local farmers knew what to do with the dry leaves: ‘One family boiled it in a pot and ate it like samp-porridge. Another spread tea leaves on his bread and butter, and bragged of his having ate half a pound at a meal, to his neighbour, who was informing him how long a pound of tea lasted him.’
[…] The arrival of the first tea-kettle was a particularly memorable day in the community.
It came ashore at Montuak in a ship, (the captain bell). The farmers came down there on business with their cattle, and could not find out how to use the tea kettle, which was then brought up to old Governor Hedges. Some said it was for one thing, and some said it was for another. At length one, the more knowing than his neighbours, affirmed it to be the ship’s lamp, to which they all assented.

“Baubles of Britain”: The American and Consumer Revolutions of the Eighteenth Century

T. H. Breen
Past & Present , No. 119 (May, 1988) , pp. 73-104