Via the Williamite Universe.
Using the fabby wordle tool, (on which see Mercurius Politicus’ recent post) I’ve created word clouds of both the bits of Magna Carta still in effect and the original 1215 Magna Carta (well, English trans thereof.) Note how in the 1215 charter ‘barons’ and ‘land’ are rather bigger than ‘liberties’.
I think I’m going to run some other great ‘Charters of Freedom’ through wordle too.
More to follow…
Over at Me and My Big Mouth, the Glorious Stereo Reading Experiment is in full swing. I would like to say that I am wiping the floor with Mr Dillon, but, sadly, it remains a dead heat which will perhaps have to go to the judges for a narrow points decision.
I’m interested in Scott’s comments though about the size of the chapters in my Glorious Revolution book. When I wrote it, I thought that these were as mouth-wateringly light as a sugary syllabub. However, as an academic, I’m used to thinking of 10000-word heavily -footnoted journal articles as accessible and concise ways of getting into meaty subjects.
It’s an important point because the book I am writing on English radicalism is pretty big, 160000 words at present and there are still two more chapters to go. (A fair bit of cutting will need doing, I’m hoping not to turn in a final draft of more than 160k.) The chapters themselves are also currently much more substantial than those in Glorious Revolution, averaging 25000-30000 words.
In light of Scott’s comments (which confirm something I was thinking about anyway), I’m going to need to break these up a good deal into lots of mini-chapters (or mini for me) of about 5-6000 words. That way, I hope readers will be able to take a break, eat some restorative Soreen malt loaf and then come back, refreshed and ready to rejoin the story.
Disappointingly, this isn’t news that some UK university is literally teaching its students how to climb the greasy pole. Instead, it’s a rather confused opinion piece which is sort of about plagiarism, sort of about the dangers of academics chasing media attention and sort of about a supposed overall decline in academic rigour (which some how gets connected to the ‘dodgy dossier’ on Iraqi WMD.)
I don’t know what’s more irritating about this article: the fact that for a piece partly on plagiarism it is largely dependent on unattributed quotations from unspecified ‘messageboards’; its unsubstantiated slurs on the quality of UK PhD’s (which mainly reveal a complete lack of understanding of how PhD’s are supervised and examined); or its bizarre connection of supposed falling academic standards with the war in Iraq.
Actually, the most galling thing about the whole article is the smug undertone that newspaper journalists are somehow a more respectable and ethical bunch than academics. Now, the journalists I know are certainly ethical, and some of them are even respectable. However, Purves surely misses the point that the academic plagiarism in the dodgy dossier was a far less significant crime than the packaging of that evidence into a case for war. The person largely responsible for the organisation and presentation of the intelligence was a former Daily Mirror journalist, Alastair Campbell.
If an academic did any of the things Purves suggests that they are doing, they would be sacked. However, the consequences for an ex-journalist who helped make a spurious case for a war that has killed thousands of people appear to have been less serious. Which is the more intellectually rigorous and ethical profession?
I missed this one but it looks a good line-up:
Following the very successful first conference of the British Printed Images to 1700 project held at Birkbeck in July 2007, there will be a further conference at which innovative research on various aspects of early modern printed images will be divulged at the Victoria & Albert Museum on Friday, 12, and Saturday, 13 September 2008.
The following papers will be given:
The conference will also include an exhibition of books and prints from the National Art Library, a ‘new researchers’ session’ at which research by graduate students will be divulged, a round table discussion of printed images and their milieu, and an exposition of recent work on the database of the British Printed Images to 1700 project.
….which isn’t bad given that my stats tell me that hardly a soul was looking at my blog four months ago.
Thank you all for reading, and for your comments.
EHR is celebrating its 500th issue by making its 25 most read articles available free to download until the end of 2008.
Go here to take a look. Unfortunately, my article on the Solemn League and Covenant didn’t make the cut.