This blog takes you behind the scenes of the writing of an academic history book – like a ‘making of’ featurette. Its aim is to make visible the traditionally invisible process of what it’s like for a university academic in the Humanities to write a research monograph, i.e. a single-authored 100,00 word book.

I’m a History Fellow at Somerville College, Oxford, and the book I’m writing has a working title of The Elusive Church: Luther, Poland and the Early Reformation. This project is supported by a British Academy Mid Career Fellowship (2012-13).

On these pages, you'll find a regular 'log' of how the book is progressing, plus information about the project. I welcome your comments and thoughts - whether you're studying or teaching history at school or university, or writing non-fiction yourself...

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Obscured Church

My former view of Saint Aloysius church

Since May, temporary HQ for the monograph writing has a Victorian Fellows’ set in Somerville, while my own room in a much more recent building is gutted and refurbished over summer. Since May, I’ve quite enjoyed the view from the kitchen in this set – onto the back of St. Aloysius’ church on Saint Giles, its stained glass windows and the crosses on its roof. These have been quite a useful aid to ruminating on the history of the church while waiting for the kettle to boil.

Armed with funds and devotion, St. Aloysius is however engaged in building work of its own. Behind the set, they have with remarkable speed erected a fantastically high brick façade without any windows. So my helpful ecclesiastical view, while I write Elusive Church, has vanished entirely. From here on, I’ll have to rely solely on my own powers of imagination. 

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