Monday, 21 April 2014

A Trumpet Of Sedition Reaches 100,000 Page Views

The first serious milestone of this blog came in November 2012 when it reached 50,000 page views.  One and half years later it has reached 100,000 Page views. It is significant that in a very short space of time the blog has doubled its page views.

It is clear that the subject matter of the blog which concentrates predominantly on the English revolution elicits an interest both nationally and internationally. While the main body of hits come from the United States and Britain there is a significant readership in Europe and particularly in Eastern Europe and not surprisingly a large number of page views coming from Ukraine. With a small number of page views coming from a number of Latin American countries it is clear the blog has a global audience and therefore the history of the English revolution has a global audience.

The fact that the blog has reached an important milestone gives me the opportunity to make an objective assessment of the next stage of my work.  It is clear that the recent content of the blog has moved on from my original plan which was to publish a few essays coming from my degree in 2003.

Without blowing my own trumpet the blog has clearly established itself to be an important part of the independent study of Early Modern England. By independent I mean not tied to any academic institute and more importantly editorial control is mine along with any mistakes.

The original concept of the blog was to counter what I perceived as a revisionist revolt against previously held Whig and Marxist historiography.  Anyone who has followed the blog from the very beginning can see that the early articles are very angry and in some cases very wide of the mark in their assessment of the current historiography.

It is really only in the last few years that I have attempted a more measured and objective approach. The articles have been longer and contain much deeper research. The subject matter I must admit lends itself to this approach by the sheer complex nature of the beast. To achieve this aim I have undertaken to do a series of book reviews.  This has been helped by the fact that publishers such as Manchester University, Boydall and Ashgate have both in the past and now produced some very interesting books. This also gives me the opportunity to give an assessment of the state of current historiography.

It is my opinion that the current historiography is still to a certain extent dominated by revisionist or post revisionist historiography. While some of the books and research contains some merit and worth reading it is marked by a very conservative approach to the study of history.

While this historiography is very disparate a common thread is a rejection and in some a cases a vitriolic attack on both Whig and Marxist historiography. There have been signs over the last few years that this domination has begun to be challenged. I am not saying that a new historiography has been produced. But I think that objective conditions such as the global economic crisis alongside other factors is producing a re think on subjects such as the English revolution which after all is a seminal event in English and International history.

The next stage of the blog will start to examine this phenomenon.  The next book review will be of Rachel Foxley’s The Levellers.  The first academic study of this important group of revolutionaries in a long time is an important event.

Another aspect to look at is the re- birth of an interest in the ‘history from below’ genre. The anniversary of E P Thompson’s - The making of the English Working Class has provoked a significant new interest in this genre. blog published a series of essay’s examining different aspects of history from below approach.  In the not too distant future I will publish a critique of this genre which does have many good points but much of which has been written about fails to understand the history of this genre which came out the Communist Party popular front campaign of the 1930s.

At a future date the blog will cover is a small but significant interest in the link between economics and history. For too long there has been a downplaying of the relationship between peoples political and social activism and there economic position. With this in mind I will be carryout research at the London school of Economics archive which houses the papers of R H Tawney.

To finish I would like to invite anyone who would like to post a guest blog on my site. My only proviso is that the article is close enough to subject matter of the blog.