Thursday, January 24, 2008


I've just sent off my essay and reflection for my OU course so I've the opportunity to breath for a moment. Word counts are a killer, trying to "compare and contrast the portrayal of women in mid-Victorian times using two texts" in 1000 words was absolute murder. I had texts by John Ruskin, well known Pre-Raphaelite fanboy, and Henry Mayhew, less well known writer and journalist. Mayhew wrote extensively about the Victorian London poor in a vaguely responsible version of tabloid journalism.

My initial draft of the essay ran to 1500 words and contained a great deal of what I thought was interesting supplimentary material that gave greater background to the essay. Cutting much of this in the editing phase was quite disheartening but the final essay reads well. Ruskins divorce put his writing in such perfect context and Mayhew's friendships with other writers and his visits to the Court of Bankruptcy made his writing about prostitution among needlewomen all the more sympathetic.

I can't say I'm looking forward to the next module.

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