Today was the day.
My viva examination was this afternoon, when I had to go in and defend my thesis. This turned out to be a surprisingly pleasant experience. The examiners (Jon Stallworthy and Steven Matthews) indicated from the start that they were positive about what I had written. We had some enjoyable disagreements, but they didn’t blow any major holes in my argument, and their conversation was often peppered with remarks like: ‘When you turn this into a book you might think about…’
I’m not quite a doctor yet, though. They gave me a not too huge list of typos to sort out. I haven’t been consistent in the way that I’ve referenced dates, so will need to deal with that – but when those are done, I hand the thing in again – and I’ll be there.



  1. Posted March 3, 2010 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    My congratulations. I raise a glass. May all your disagreements be enjoyable.

  2. Roger
    Posted March 3, 2010 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    Well done!

  3. Posted March 3, 2010 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Congratulations. I’m looking forward to reading the book.

  4. Posted March 3, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Congratulations and welcome to Not Being a Proper Doctor!

    • Posted March 4, 2010 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      I was discussing with a friend when it might be useful to be known as Doctor. He says he’ll use the title when he books airline tickets, in the hope of an upgrade. I’m concerned that in those circumstances, one might be approached in mid-Atlantic and asked to help out by performing an emergency Caesarian. I mean, I’d certainly have a go, but I don’t think I’d be very good at it.

      • Alan Allport
        Posted March 4, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        I was once on a plane where they really did ask: “is there a doctor amongst the passengers?” and, as it turned out, I was sitting next to him. No-one, however, has ever asked if there is a historian on the plane.

  5. Posted March 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Many congratulations. I said it would be easy. If Stallworthy says it should be a book then you’d better get on with it – can I put my order in now?

  6. Posted March 4, 2010 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the good wishes. As for the book, I’ll start working on it. Basically, the task now is to make the thing readable by taking out all the bits I put in to satisfy the Ph.D. requirements, especially the references I put in just to prove that I had trudged through all the critical material. I’ll put a few more jokes in, as well.

  7. Posted March 11, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations, George! Apologies that I’ve come to this late. It’s wonderful news.

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