…or, a self-indulgent post without a central point.
My work here is done. For now. Return trips will be required. If I were an eighteenth-century Methodist, I would record everything I’ve done in obsessive detail as a form of self-discipline. Instead, I’ve only recorded a few things obsessively. For instance:
- Miles walked (14 days X 4 miles a day) = 56
- Notes taken (in words): 65,000
- Hours in library: 76
- Postcards bought: 2
I have found much useful material that will go a long way towards the completion of my book. I also have a very strong sense of what I want to look like on my future trips. Everyone here keeps asking me 1) when it will be published and 2) who is going to publish it. My answers? 1) Some time in the next five years or I won’t get tenure, and 2) I don’t know, but wouldn’t Oxford University Press be nice?
One of the greatest things about being here has been talking over coffee and/or lunch with other scholars who are studying Methodism in the eighteenth-century. I don’t think that I’ve ever been around this many at one time. Yesterday, for example, I was taken to lunch at the members-only Portico Library and had a very nice conversation over fish & chips and mushy peas. Today, more Thai food (this time a delish tofu concoction) and one last conversation with a PhD candidate from Oxford University.
It’s sunny and warm today. Downtown Manchester is crowded with people out and about, mostly shopping it seems. I’m going to try to find a relatively quiet place to get something cool to drink and read. My flight leaves tomorrow morning. After a night in Baltimore, I’ll be back in KC by Monday.