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4:11pm on Wednesday, 1st June, 2011:

More Interesting but Pointless Research


Having wondered what to do with all the Victorian photos I collected, I decided to put together a web site for my children's book set in 1869 with a view to using this as support when I unleash it to complete silence on the Kindle.

One little section concerns the politics of Europe on the eve of the Franco-Prussian war, so I thought I'd write little vignettes for each country expressing its position. Groan, I might have known it wouldn't be that simple. It takes several hours to write a few paragraphs on even completely uninvolved countries such as Greece, because I have to read all these Wikipedia articles academic papers describing why it was they weren't involved. Why didn't Denmark come in on the side of France so it could have a shot at recapturing Schleswig-Holstein? Augh! This is going to take me ages!

It's quite interesting, though. I must say, I'm quite impressed with the élan of Emperor Pedro I of Brazil (quick summary: father is king of Portugal and flees to Brazil to escape Napoleon; father combines Brazil with Portugal into one kingdom; father goes back to Portugal leaving Pedro as his regent in Brazil; Pedro declares Brazil independent and is made Emperor; father dies so Pedro gets to be king of Portugal; Pedro abdicates his Portuguese crown in favour of his 7-year-old-daughter with his sister as regent; Pedro's brother leads a revolt and is proclaimed king of Portugal; Pedro abdicates throne of Brazil in favour of his 5-year-old son; Pedro goes to Britain and raises an army of Portuguese liberals who had fled there; Pedro goes to the Azores and sets up government-in-exile; Pedro invades Portugal and beats his brother; Pedro reinstates his daughter as queen and makes himself regent; Pedro dies a few months later aged 35). I'm not so impressed with having to read for several hours so I can explain why Portugal isn't interested in any goings-on between France and Prussia in 1869, though.

Still, at least this is more educational than looking at photos of Victorians, for which the only unexpected discovery I made is that there's a market among gay men for portrait photos of handsome young Victorian males (at least if all those "gay interest" tags on eBay are to be believed).

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).