Almost two years ago, I sat down to write the first ‘Madeira Mondays’ post. I had just finished my Doctorate of Fine Arts (which was looking at 18th century historical fiction and forgotten women in the early American South), was working on a historical fiction novel, was volunteering as a costumed historical guide…basically my life was: all 18th century, all the time. This blog series was meant to be a fun way to share my research and passion by writing about all the cool (and bizarre) stuff I’d learned about during my PhD. I would share 18th century recipes and strange facts about 18th century underwear! My first post was on one of my favorite novels about this period of early American history: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes.
Now, two years on, things have changed. I’ve changed, the world has changed, and, inevitably, my interests have changed. It’s not that I don’t still love 18th century history and historical fiction. I do. I probably always will. BUT I’ve started to feel like I want to write about more than this and to share more recommendations of books that don’t fall under this remit of historical fiction. For example, I’ve been reading and thinking a lot about science fiction recently, and throughout lockdown I wrote many new things myself – drafts of whole new books, in fact, some historical and some not. I want to be able to share these shifting interests, passions and recommendations of things I’ve read and seen with you – rather than be ‘tied down’ to only 18th century inspired posts. There have been several times when I wanted to write about a book but then didn’t because I was like: that’s not about the 18th century, Carly! But…that’s ridiculous. This is my blog, my rules! 🙂 And it’s something I do purely for fun and to connect with amazing and interesting people online like yourselves, so I don’t want to put any restrictions on myself anymore.
‘Madeira Mondays’ isn’t going away, but I’ve decided that now it will be once a month: the first Monday of the month. This will free up a bit more blog writing time for other things because I’m starting a new series called ‘Friday Finds’. This is going to be recommendations and reviews of (usually) books, but also occasionally films, places, anything that takes my fancy really! It won’t be every week but I aim to do at least one or two ‘Friday Finds’ a month.
As you can see from the image above, I’ve been reading a lot of different things, some historical (e.g. The Pull of the Stars) some poetry, some science fiction, some things that are difficult to classify. And I hope to share more recommendations for not just historical things in the very near future!
I hope this change is okay with you. I anticipate that it will be? I get the sense that most of you are not reading the blog only because you are 18th century enthusiasts (although I know some of you are that!). If you do happen to be an 18th century historian or lover of this time period like myself then there is a wealth of stuff for you to explore in all of the Madeira Mondays of the past two years (84 by my count, thus far…). I enjoy writing them, there are still some great ones coming, but be on the lookout for other sorts things coming your way very soon too…
Thank you as ever for reading and wishing you a lovely rest of your week.
PS Today’s featured image is from Wikimedia: an engraving of a carriage from 1791.