Closing Time

[posted by Gavin Robinson, 3:34 pm, 16 October 2013]

[Edit May 2016: After I stopped blogging I deleted a huge number of old posts that I wasn’t satisfied with, sometimes for very trivial reasons. Now I’ve brought most of them back and added some new notes (like this one) at the top to explain what was wrong with them or how things have changed. This is because M.H. Beals has called on historians to wear our purple socks proudly. The note on this post is the last one I’ve written but is likely to be the first one that you’ll read. In the last week I’ve relived 7 years. Some old posts have made me cringe but I’m relieved to find that some aren’t as bad as I thought. I think the quality of my posts improved a lot through staying closer to my own patch and doing more research for them, but this made it harder to keep up posting. By late 2012 I’d run out of things that I could say without lapsing back into vague speculation about anything and everything, and once I’d got the cavalry operations posts done in the autumn of 2013 it was a relief to move on to something else. The new writing project I mentioned below was Time Girls, a sort of postmodern feminist hauntological metafictional closet drama in which two actresses comment on a rubbish science fiction series they used to be in and gradually reveal how patriarchy has derailed their careers. It wasn’t very popular but I enjoyed doing it. Now I’ve got that out of the way I probably won’t want to write any more fiction. My blogging, and my history writing in general, made progress with a small p, but only through effort and experience. I’ve kept on failing better.]

Seven years ago, I started this blog. Now I’m stopping it. I wanted to go out on a high, and I think last week’s series of posts on cavalry operations is the best thing I’ve ever published anywhere. From now on, I’ll be putting most of my time into my transcription business. In my spare time, I’m tentatively working on a new writing project. It’s about the past and it’s quite feminist, but apart from that it’s nothing like anything I’ve published here or anywhere else. The blog archives will be staying here indefinitely, and comments on recent posts will be open for a few months. And I’ll still be on Twitter.


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