Cliopatria comin’ atcha

by Nick

Nominations for the Cliopatria Awards 2009 are now open over at HNN. I’m still pondering which blogs to nominate, but in the meantime here are a few blogs under various of the categories, which I’ve either discovered in the last year or which I feel have been great reads during the same period.

Best New Blog

I am a big fan of Early Modern Online Bibliography, about the benefits and pitfalls of online early modern texts. The posts are often collaborative and provoke great discussions, and I’ve learned a huge amount by following it. I have also enjoyed discovering Petty France, which focuses on eighteenth-century London, and Fragments, which is by a PhD student researching Jacobean drama. As for other periods, I’ve liked what I’ve read so far at Mony Wylsum Way, which is by a Masters student looking at medieval history and literature.

Best Individual Blog

I’ve always found Investigations of a Dog to be one of the most interesting and consistently rewarding blogs I read – even if Gavin hasn’t been posting as much recently (come back! we miss you!). Early Modern Whale is also high up there. I wish I could write that well about early modern literature. And I really like Wynken de Worde, which is why I feel quite proud of putting it forward for best new blog last year and then finding it went on to win!

On the medieval side, A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe is extremely learned and definitely worth reading. It always gives me food for thought about how my own period links to that before it. On the more modern side, I normally hoover up anything posted at Airminded.

Best Writer

Diapsalmata is a great place to go for well-constructed, thoughtful posts about literature, book history and the digital humanities more widely. I’ve also really enjoyed what’s been posted about book history over at bookn3rd – particularly the posts on medical manuscripts and illustrations, not just for the wonderful pictures but also the wonderful commentary. Airs, Waters, Places is another place where you can always find extremely interesting and evocative writing.

There are quite a few pseudonymous blogs by academics that I follow, but my favorite is Moria in Excelsis. She writes beautiful, reflective posts about her love for her subject.

Two other very well-written, very thoughtful blogs which aren’t always about history, but which are so passionate about it that I see them as history blogs, are Westminster Wisdom and @Number71. The first often has razor-sharp posts on early modern topics – I always find the reviews of history books there get to the heart of whether a book is any good or not, but there are loads of other fantastic posts there too. The second is a blog by a couple about anything and everything they find interesting, really – whether that be books, arts, politics, music, or whatever else. Again, it often has really wonderful and thought-provoking posts about early modern history and literature.