Last Saturday marked the eighth birthday of On the archival trail of William Macintosh. So many things have changed since I began documenting my work on Macintosh that it feels like I’ve been chipping away at this project for much, much longer. The work has always been a pleasure, and is a constant source of fascination, but it has often been frustrating not to be able to carve out the concentrated time that the project really deserves.
I was, therefore, delighted to learn last week that my application to the Leverhulme Trust for a Research Fellowship had been approved. After seven failed attempts to secure grants from a range of funding bodies to support my work on Macintosh, this news came as both a wonderful surprise and a huge relief. The Fellowship will allow me to focus on the Macintosh project full time for a year from 1 September 2020. I hope in that time to make very substantial progress on the book I have long planned.
To have received this news in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic—when so much else, both personally and professionally, feels strange, uncertain, and worrying—means I am particularly aware of the rare privilege that such an opportunity presents.