Saturday 2 June is my 2 year blogging anniversary!
HistorianRuby has now published 93 articles!
Have I favourites? Yes. You can’t help feeling more for the posts that you have put your heart and soul into for a period of research and I have many where I’ve immersed myself into the study of the topic and this passion is somehow conveyed in the writing. When I reread those posts they instantly take me back in time and I would hope they are conduits to the past for others, too.
Below is a short review of favourite posts (in no particular order), they are popular with me and my readers and inspire me to continue telling stories from our past.
I have a soft spot for my post Diana: Her Fashion Story – the Kensington Palace Exhibition. I had never visited Kensington Palace before and to be in such close proximity to gowns worn by Diana, who was adored, and is still adored the world over, was a thrill. I think chasing the celebrity definitely overrides the historian in me with this post. I was 11-years-old when Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles and so I grew up with her image on a pedestal and of course, when she died the apotheosis of Diana the icon was complete.
I couldn’t wait to be the cosmopolitan blogger, laptop in hand, and sit down in KP’s cafe and begin to write. The general noise of their busy cafe eventually put me off and I headed to a nearby Starbucks where I sat (almost) peacefully to continue my article.
Oh, and Prince Harry got engaged there the day after my visit. Thankfully he got the memo and didn’t disturb my time at Kensington Palace!
I also enjoyed my visit to the Harry Potter: History of Magic exhibition and the subsequent write-up. However, I was poorly at the time and as the post lengthened I became more and more tired and was so glad to finish! It really was like struggling to finish my homework for Professor Snape! Having explored the witchcraft theme in university I felt this was the perfect exhibition for me, but maybe that’s because I’m a Harry Potter fan, too!
Again, I made use of the on-site cafe to begin my report. I was distracted by a ‘Your Stats are Booming!’ notification from WordPress as a post I had shared a month before went a little bit crazy on Facebook (in relative terms) and I hit my best daily views ever!
They were two exhibitions but with different rules, non-flash photography was permitted at Kensington Palace, allowing me to go all David Bailey on Diana’s dresses, whereas the British Library had a no photography rule. I bought postcards to help illustrate my article and due to lack of images, my words had to illustrate the post, too.
Both these articles traverse different genres: history meets modernity, fashion, celebrity, pop culture and literary pursuits and they also introduced me to a new style of blogging, using lots of pictures in the Diana post in conjunction with my text and visiting exhibitions and reporting rather than an essay on an arbitrary theme that I had chosen to research that week.
Another post that is a favourite is Remember, Remember the Sixth of November: Commemorating Princess Charlotte 200 Years After her Death. Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales was the daughter of the Prince Regent and King George III’s only legitimate grandchild. She would have been Queen of Great Britain had she lived. I have followed her story for a few years as I spend a lot of time studying the eighteenth century (with the Regency it becomes the long eighteenth century). It is a particularly tragic tale of parents who disliked each other intensely and of a privileged child who was a pawn in her parents’ particular brand of chess. I think I had something like two days notice to write this post so that it could be published on her anniversary. It was game on! There was a deadline to meet and I jumped at the challenge.
One I can’t miss out of a short review is my Titanic: the Hero Musicians post. I lived and breathed Titanic for a week before writing. The research had me watching films, reading archived newspapers and watching innumerable documentaries on YouTube.
In the early days, I didn’t make enough of an effort to explore other blogs that weren’t history related and maybe that was detrimental to growth and views. When I restarted blogging last October I was a lot more relaxed about following blogs that entertain me and not for an aesthetic list of historical themes in my sidebar.
I enjoy reading many of my previous posts and feel a sense of accomplishment as my blog grows. Which is amazing considering I nearly didn’t make it to a two year anniversary! I certainly didn’t make it to a one year anniversary – my blog was lying dormant in June last year. I managed one paltry post between September 2016 and October 2017 and I began writing that in the October and didn’t publish till March 2017. But in an effort to shy away from quick online games that offer entertainment but no cerebral benefit I started writing and researching again. I have now been posting again for eight full months.
Here’s to another eight months!