September in Jane’s World

A month ago, I decided to start tweeting out lines from my dissertation research, one for each day of the year. Many of the bits I’ve chosen were never referenced in the dissertation or any of my published work; they’re just evocative or amusing lines. Some are sentences that have stuck with me since I first read them.

Revisiting this material has been enjoyable and painful in equal measures. I could weave a brief historical narrative based on every sentence I’ve selected or tell a fascinating story about every person mentioned. I don’t know that I’ll ever publish the book I intended to write using this research, but even if I did, I wouldn’t get to write about every interesting life and event I discovered. That’s just the way historical research and writing work.

But all of these sentences, and the letters they’re from, were important in helping me understand who these people were and what their lives were like. I got to know all of these people really well, or at least as well as a historian ever can, and it has been nice to visit them again.

Here’s everything that happened in September, with a key to the people, archives, and books referenced.



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