Today was the day.
I took two copies of my thesis into Brookes, had them spiral bound by the rather impressive ladies in the Print Room, and then went to the Graduate Office to hand the thing in.
In the Print Room I was at the head of a small queue, and felt rather good when a young undergraduate with a PDF to print off saw the vast bulk of my research; she said, ‘Wow! What’s that? A Ph.D. thesis?’
I admitted that it was.
‘It’s enormous. How long did that take to write? A year?’
Four and a half years actually, and now it’s been submitted into the system, and is at the mercy of the examiners. They will take a couple of months to find fault with it, and then there will be the viva…
So what shall I do now?
I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied – two book reviews to write, and a chapter for a conference book to revise. I’ve also got to decide whether I’ll submit an abstract for a paper at the forthcoming John Buchan conference. I fancy writing about his historical novels of the twenties, but I haven’t quite decided on my angle yet.
So that’s the short term busy enough – but what about the long term? I’m hooked on research, and I’m going to want another big project soon. Should I stick to the War period or branch out?
And what about this blog? Great War fiction has been the subject of my thesis, and I’m sure I’ll still find things to say on that subject – but maybe I’ll rename it ‘Great War Fiction Plus’ and allow myself even more scope to stray from the narrow subject. I’ll have to think about it.


  1. Posted December 11, 2009 at 11:01 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted December 12, 2009 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Congratualtions. A good feeling I suspect. I saw my MPhil thesis in its hardbound form the other day ready to be deposited. I was quite chuffed.

  3. Posted December 12, 2009 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Very well done indeed!

  4. Roger
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Well done and good luck!

  5. Posted December 12, 2009 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant, George! This blog is worth a couple of PhDs, as well.

  6. Posted December 12, 2009 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks for the good wishes.

  7. Posted December 16, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations – what a terrific feeling it must have been to hand that thesis in. Please do continue blogging though on the Great War or “plus” – I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts so much over the years.

  8. Roger
    Posted December 17, 2009 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Sergeant major’s tea is a wonderful invention.
    I provide the T.A. recipe from the 1970s.
    Take one large dixie. Boil up allowing a pint of water for each person. Add complete packets of very cheap tea (they had white labels) torn open at each end and tins of condensed milk punctured at each end (they also had white labels)and packets of sugar to taste. Boil vigorously until packets and labels- which float on the top- are the same colour as the liquid. Skim off packets and serve tea with a dash of rum.

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