Monday, 7 September 2015

A Masters Dissertation

Hello history friends! I am so excited to present this project to you all at last. Finally you'll get to hear the audiobook version of my dissertation, complete with a preface just like in real audiobooks! I really hope you enjoy it, and if you want to share any love please continue to BEFIT and generally spread the word, as you have all done so well so far, as well as donate to the podcast if you can, since the process that led to the actual completion of this rather thick hardback copybook has been an immensely expensive one indeed.

17,000 or so words, countless hours and at least a year's worth of prep later - here it is!

So what does it all mean? 'Honour at Stake' is the official title of the dissertation, but what can you expect from the miniseries? Expect to be pleasantly surprised, since I'm sure the code of honour among states isn't something you expected me to look into and do a dissertation on. I hope you'll give it a listen even if you don't think at first that you'll find it especially interesting. I'll admit at the start I really didn't think I'd find it as fascinating as I did and do now. The code of honour actually permeates through everything that British statesmen did in the 19th and 20th centuries, especially before WW1. Its influence is very underrated in terms of it being studied with the outbreak of the First World War in mind, so that's the void I tried to fill here. I took the point of view of the British for personal reasons as well as ease of sources and language barriers, but it is an issue that was keenly felt across Europe and the world. As a factor in British involvement in the First World War I feel like it really is something that can help us understand not just the context of the day, but also the psyche of the statesmen and officials that operated with it in mind in 1914.

To lose honour meant that the prestige of your Empire would dip, this meant that other states would capitalise on your weakness by moving against you, and soon your entire states' apparatus would crumble. This, of course, was the worst case scenario espoused by those that argued for war in favour of the code of honour, but there was another significant segment of British society that argued the opposite - that British honour depended on its continuing neutrality and aloofness from continental affairs, especially a war that nobody could discern a direct British interest in.

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, then I really hope you'll listen to the 6 part miniseries. By splitting it into 6 episodes, I feel like I can better tell the story without you all getting too overwhelmed or bored with the whole concept, but don't worry, you won't have to wait any longer than you would have for the 4 episodes - I'm just that generous! Let me know what you all thought of it, and perhaps if you're really good I'll finally reveal what the dealio is with the huge special I've been planning for months. Trust me, it's gonna be a big one!

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