Saturday, 21 August 2021

Goodbye and thank you

Dear all,

As it's been four years since I last contributed to this blog, this might be a service preached over a filled-in grave, but I wanted to say that Confessions of a Ci-Devant can be considered closed. Good Lord, I hate the name so much. It's like the email you pick for yourself in high school that you're stuck with, and as grateful as I am for the support, criticism, and encouragement over the years, I still do not understand why I picked such a ridiculous title. Sometimes, when you're starting out, you try to over-egg the pudding, but anyway, there's no point in complaining in retrospect.  ... I hate it so much.

Part of the decision is pragmatic; there isn't time to do proper posts or articles anymore. A bigger reason, though, is that it feels like it's time to properly close a certain chapter. The truth, of course, is that our views shift as we research and as we grow up. I look back on some earlier posts and I think they were unduly harsh, or unwarrantedly sympathetic. 23-year-old me wouldn't believe I'm saying this, but one of the figures I've changed my mind most about is Queen Jane Seymour of England who, until a few years ago, I always assumed was a crashing bore. History is an ongoing process and this blog was with me while I was doing my masters on the royal household. It encouraged me to research and to think. Piece by piece, our views evolve. The Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este ranks with another figure who was so different to what I'd always been told. 

 This blog - as much as I would debate some of my earlier conclusions in it - kept me writing about history at a really difficult time in my life. I had graduated; I had decided to pursue writing, during which I was doing jobs I often hated to do so. Being able to write about history in that time was invaluable and, as much as I do not look back on that time in my life with complete fondness, I do look back on this blog with a deep well of gratitude. Perhaps more specifically, I think that of those who read it, commented on it, critiqued it, liked it, and disliked it. Thank you to everyone. 

 Take care, 

 Gareth

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