I am terribly tired, need a shower and a shave. But I also have another book to go, this one on the Pacific Belshaws. I will write properly when I am less exhausted. But I did try a few intro paras while away. For example:
This is the story of the Pacific Belshaws. Divided by time and space across
three continents and five countries and yet linked by genes and a common
ancestry forged in working class Lancashire of the 19th century, the striking
thing about the Belshaws is the way patterns have carried across
It's actually a very good story, but also one that is very hard to write.
My current boss recently described me as an egg-head. There is some truth in that because the Belshaws have been concerned with ideas. In this context, the story of the Belshaws is partially a story of the evolution of ideas, of thought, in four countries.
It is also an Empire and Commonwealth story. With the end of Empire, the previous unity has dissolved into a series of national stories. Yet the Empire was more than England or its other constituent parts. The Empire and Commonwealth was itself an entity, with its own linkages and ways of thinking.
I have just been reading a history of Canada. It's a very good book, but it suffers in the way that equivalent Australian works do because of its narrow national focus. Coming to it from an Australian perspective, I kept on wanting to ask where is your context?
Canadian history is very different from that of Australia or New Zealand. That said, there are very many commonalities. I felt that the book suffered badly because it it was so dominated by the relationship with the US on one side, the colonial authorities on the other, that other things were lost.
I will pick some of this up in another post.
A full list of posts in the visiting Vancouver series can be found here.