After a busy term marking exam scripts and coursework (and submitting another grant application to support my work on Macintosh—fingers crossed!), I am looking forward to returning to the archival trail. Next week I am heading back to Avignon (this time with family in tow) to continue the research I began in 2012. My specific focus on this occasion is Macintosh’s personal library of books, now housed at the Bibliothèque Ceccano. There are, according to the inventory, 70 titles (across 131 volumes) in Macintosh’s library. These books—along with many others from convents and monasteries—were seized during the French Revolution, and have remained in the city since 1793. In looking at these titles, I am keen to develop a sense of what Macintosh read and how it might have influenced his political philosophy and outlook on life. There is some indication that Macintosh inscribed his books with the date and location of purchase (which would be helpful additional information in reconstructing the context to his reading). I hope to assemble a catalogue of his books and to submit this as a bibliographical note to The Library.
Introducing Team Macintosh 2.0
I am delighted, again, to have two second-year students working with me this summer. Rhys and Sam (following in the footsteps of Lauren and Ophelia) have secured highly competitive Department of Geography Placement Research Assistantships, supported by Royal Holloway’s Ignition Fund, that will allow them to work with me for two weeks from the beginning of July. Ryhs and Sam will be largely be focused on the transcription of Macintosh’s letterbooks of outgoing correspondence (that date mostly from his time in the Caribbean). The work Rhys and Sam do will be extremely valuable in reconstructing Macintosh’s correspondence networks and tracing the emergence of his iconoclastic political philosophy.