Bidding Farewell to the Happy Times

I loved thee well, dear Sabbatical. But it’s time to face the fact that the main reason the state of Connecticut pays me is to teach, so teach I shall. Hopefully my return to full-time teaching won’t significantly impact the blog. I will continue to post, although probably only once or twice per week, rather than whenever I feel like it. I still have plenty of material: about 30 drafts of posts in various stages and many more ideas. I still have to finish up a couple of posts on horse logistics, a final post on the history of early modern intelligence, plenty more on strategy, on battle, on books and publishing EMEH, on historiography, and on note-taking as well. And that’s just off the top of my head. Hopefully our discussions will sustain themselves as well, so keep an eye on the Recent Comments. After 9 months of blogging, more than 150 posts, and over 17,000 ‘views’, there’s plenty more to talk about. As an academic I always feel empowered to hold forth on any topic regardless of my knowledge of it.

Once the semester starts in a few days, I’ll have a better sense of what my schedule will be like, and I’ll try to get into a posting rhythm (e.g. a post every Monday and Thursday…). Of course if there are topical matters or new publications to complain about, those posts will appear when I finish them.

All this means that if you’ve been lurking and enjoying the fruits of others’ labor, it’s time for you to start commenting. If you feel like contributing a guest post, please do so – they can be very short, a question for the audience, a comment or suggestion… It’s just that easy. And of late there’s been some good discussion in several different posts, so keep an eye out on the Recent Comments.

For you academics out there: what are you teaching this semester? Anything military? For any students, what are you taking? Tell us in the comments.

For my part, I’m teaching two sections of Historical Research and Writing, and you’ll see a few of my hobby horses from the course appear on this blog, particularly regarding note-taking. This is about as broad a course as you can get (i.e. no period/place limits), but I do have one class meeting where I have the students analyze an English playing card highlighting Prince Eugene’s victory ending the Bourbon siege of Turin in 1706.

1707 Playing card celebrating victory at Turin in 1706

I’ll also be teaching a senior seminar on Late Stuart England, 1685-1714, where the students can pick whatever topic they would like. Hopefully one or two will choose something with a military bent.


2 responses to “Bidding Farewell to the Happy Times”

  1. jegrenier says :

    So like where do I get a deck of those cards?

    • jostwald says :

      This deck originally came out in 1707; I even found an ad for the deck in a 1707 newspaper. In the 1970s some British publisher came out with a facsimile deck, which I bought several years back through a British seller online. Don’t remember offhand, but I think I googled Marlborough playing deck or something like that.

      The English sold a variety of decks with topical themes (including one on the Monmouth rebellion). There was a recent article on the playing deck trade in early modern Germany I think.

      You can also find replica coins for sale, not only regular currency but even medals celebrating Marlborough’s victories, as well as replicas of ‘siege money’, i.e. a governor’s silver plate cut up into coins to pay the troops.

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