You are currently reading post number 100 on the many-headed monster. On realising this (statistically) significant event was approaching, we monster heads decided it would be worth marking in some way. The blog has been enormously rewarding as an arena to think through our ideas and to share our archival discoveries, but also as a way to connect with you, the reader. Since our first post in July 2012, we have had more than 40,000 views and 541 comments, and we are enormously grateful that so many people have read our musings and engaged with us on the blog. Thus, this is a round-up of some pearls from the blog archive: our most popular posts, collectively and individually, alongside a nominated personal favourite from each contributor. Enjoy, and we look forward to continuing to work with you in the future!
Our heaviest traffic on the ‘monster comes from the ‘The Future of History From Below Online Symposium’, a collection of multi-authored papers based on two conferences on the topic. For the heads, this has become an important resource for research and teaching, and was also responsible for our busiest day in July 2013 when we received a spectacular 481 views.
Most popular post: The Immersive Turn: Or, what did a seventeenth-century drinking song sound like? (Nov. 2013)
Nominated post: “many of my favourite ‘monster posts are those that have generated a lot of debate about aspects of ‘the craft’ – digital v archival sources; the use of jargon etc – but the post I would like to nominate here does something rather different: it’s one of Brodie’s ‘Norwich Entertainments’ series, ‘Ballad-singers and dangerous news, with coffee‘ (Nov. 2012). Historians of early modern England now make a lot of use of printed materials like ballads and pamphlets, but we know less than we would like about their dissemination and consumption. This fascinating little post provides us with some valuable insight into the social history of print in an early modern city.”
Most popular post: John Dee’s conversations with Angels (Nov. 2012)
Nominated post: “Jonathan’s Idols of the mind, or What does God look like? (June 2013) tackles a ticklish question: how did people in the past visualise God? The delightful post explores this central and controversial aspect of the early modern mentality, taking in some wonderful illustrations along the way.”
Most popular post: Norwich Entertainments – Part III: A medieval royal mistress in the 17th century and beyond (Aug. 2012)
Nominated post: “Laura’s two History and Analogy posts (Sept. 2013). A light-hearted look at one of the least-discussed but most-important aspects of historical writing and teaching. Some of the examples, including some offered in the comments, got me chuckling.”
Most popular post: Tudor history on TV, and a partial review of David Starkey’s ‘Music and Monarchy’ (Aug. 2013)
Nominated post: “Mark’s three-part ‘Workers Representation’ series. As someone who’s worked on ballads primarily as musical and textual artefacts (and for the evidence they provide about religious identity), the use of ballad images for information about occupational identity had never really occurred to me and these are a fascinating series of discussions. If I had to pick just one of the three, I think I’d go for ‘spinning a yarn’ (Sept. 2012): one of my favourite quotes has to be ‘a woman of lower or middling status didn’t need to wear the highest quality clothing to win a man’s heart – she needed to be able to make it’.”