I want to wish the readers of this blog and the companion twitter feed a Happy New Year.
I would also like to apologize for the fact that the posts have been shorter, and not as frequent this last year. Pressure and constraints of other work has meant that I have not been as diligent in writing new posts.
I have also come to believe that the subject matter of this blog and twitter account will soon run of out of general interest. The truth is that 1817, aside from a few incidents, is not full of the epic historical moments that filled the years from 1812 to 1816. It will not have the sweep of the War of 1812 which included various invasions of Canada, with the deaths of Brock and Tecumseh, to the burning of Washington and the futile bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814. It will lack the epic story of Napoleon from his disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812 to his return from Elba to fight and end his military career on the fields of Waterloo in 1815. The year without summer provided a dramatic background for the antics of Byron, Shelley and Mary in the Villa Diodati in 1816.
The year 1817 is more low key though many of the same persons would still be alive. Byron will continue to write and seduce his way through Europe. Mary will finish Frankenstein. Shelley and Keats will write some of the greatest poetry in the language. Napoleon will restlessly decline in exile on St. Helena. All these are of interest, but they lack the larger dramatic stories of the other years. I would also like to write something new.
It is for this reason that I intend to change the name of the Twitter account from @1816now to @pastnow_. (Someone else has @pastnow.)
Rather, than ending the account I could also change it so that it is no longer limited to one year. This change would mean that it would be more of an #OTD account. I would publish events, quotes or facts that took place on the same day in the past, and but would not be limited to one year. In this way, I could continue with events in 1817 and the stories of Byron, Shelley and Mary.
I am not sure how I will proceed.
I have thus prepared the poll below to get some feedback on possible changes. I should point out that I very much welcome all input, but the decision will ultimately be mine as to how, and if, the feed will continue. More detailed comments are also appreciated.
I thank you in advance for your assistance.
(The image above is from an illustration of Frankenstein by Bernie Wrightson.)