This history personal study is more trouble than it’s worth. I’ve now discovered I can’t do 18th century gangsters due to the lack of historical debate on the subject. Grrr.
Perhaps I should explain. This is the only part of the course where we get to actually choose what we learn about. I wanted to use this opportunity to look at a period of history I haven’t studied in detail before. Last year, before I dropped history, I wanted to answer on the Mughal Empire, but was stumped by the lack of available sources. This year I decided to set my sights nearer home, but look at a specific subject I haven’t studied before. Unfortunately, and in defiance of all logic, just about every area which has attracted the required level of historical debate is one I’ve already been tested on. The French Revolution, the Battle of Hastings, the Spanish Armada, World War I, World War II, the Tudors, the American West…
To make matters more complicated, we have to have our questions submitted for approval by the exam board by next Thursday. There really isn’t time for me to select a new topic, booklist and all. In desperation, I emailed a friend asking for her bibliography from when she studied the Spanish Armada earlier this year. The school librarian says that’s the cheating coward’s way out, and has suggested I do Samuel Pepys instead.
Well, my friend emailed me back with the bibliography. She is a lifesaver and a star and I would propose to her if I didn’t know she’d turn me down. So I’m doing the Armada.
And in all honesty, part of what made the 18th century interesting was that it was the time of Jack Sheppard and Johnathan Wild, of thief-takers, mohocks and highwaymen. Somehow, a man who was famous for keeping a diary doesn’t sound as… exciting, I suppose. If I picked a new topic at this stage I’d have to do a lot of research and book hunting at very short notice, and fascinating as Pepys’ diary doubtless is, it just doesn’t seem worth the hassle.
So now I’m stuck writing about the Spanish bleeding Armada for yet another bleeding year.
And yes, I’m using this blog to vent, sorry. This history has been a real pain in the neck, and it’s doing my head in.
In totally unrelated news, I’ve just seen the final episode of this series of Doctor Who. It’s a special, and it is incredibly long and incredibly epic.
Farewell, Russell T. Davies. You will be missed.