During 2019 I was lucky enough to use time to research into a few different areas. This blog has been fantastic as a place to outline and reflect on ideas, but it is always fantastic to have more time to delve deeper into academic research. So, during the course of 2019 I produced a couple of academic articles and short books.

Earlier in the summer I completed an article about Cuthbert Mayne (titled: ‘Martyr or Traitor’) for the Cornish Banner. Mayne was of interest for a couple of reasons: he was active during the Elizabethan era (a time period under study at my college) and he was also connected to Cornwall (where he was caught and killed) and even the local area of Torbay (where a school is named after him).

Also, during the summer I noted the release of the short eBook about a pretender during the reign of Henry VII – Ralph Wilford: Henry VII’s Forgotten Pretender. I enjoyed the research into a largely unknown figure of this period of history and also gained from the experience of using Kindle Direct Publishing to upload the final write-up.

By the end of 2019 I managed to finally complete the history of the Blue Monkey pub (from St. Budeaux, Plymouth, Devon) and I’m excited about being able to print out a more sizeable history this spring. I’m still stumping for the title: The Entire History of One English Pub. Now I just need to pull my finger out for the final proof-read.

Whilst over the Christmas period I was happy to receive a copy of 2019’s edition of The Devon Historian, which features my article ‘The Legend of Saint Budoc’. This saint has popped up a couple of times on this blog (including a historiographical survey) as he is part of the foundation myth of St. Budeaux village (Plymouth, UK – yes, the same village that was home to the Blue Monkey pub).

It was nice to see this article find its way into print (and much thanks to the editor Mike Sampson). The whole process reminded me why I’m so fortunate to be working in a college environment: I had the resources to delve into deeper research and also had a work-colleague who gave the time to proof-read the article before it was sent off (much thanks to Mr David Hart). Ten years ago I was seemingly stuck in a job that offered no outlet for academic work (or even thinking for that matter!), which is in stark contrast to today.

Furthermore, I am hoping that this Saint Budoc article will also provide the stimulus to complete a long cherished research aim of mine: the writing of a full and complete history of the village of St. Budeaux. The publishing of the Blue Monkey history will hopefully give me a shove in this direction. I’m aiming to make 2020 a productive year for more academic research. And of course, I will use the pages of this blog to toss about the ideas related to them.