The Summer holiday has provided an opportunity for a major clear-out and re-organisation of all my accumulated possessions. In the process, I have re-discovered a box file full of my old essays from school and university which have miraculously survived all my mother’s many culls of my stuff. I think it was important for me to keep them because I lavished a lot of love and attention on writing them and I’m glad now that I did. They serve two purposes: a memento or record of my work and secondly, a valuable resource for me as a history teacher. There’s some interesting essay questions there which I might mine again in future, as well as some possibly useful material for lesson planning.
The paper on some of these essays is already yellowing with time, and they take up too much valuable space, so they are going to have to go. But before I get rid of them, I plan to scan them all and save them as PDF files, for ease of access in future. Unfortunately, I don’t have a scanner at the moment (maybe I can purchase a cheap one), so I’ve started by photographing the first batch, which is a bit time consuming.
What, during the reign of William I, were the effects of the Norman Conquest upon the personal status and role of the aristocracy in England? Is it true to say that the ordinary people of England were surprisingly unaffected by the invasion?