H697 Type Assignment

This week’s assignment was to create a webpage which demonstrated a basic grasp of wordprocessing, css, and webfonts. I knew that which fonts I chose would depend on the text I used, so that was where I started.

I thought about using an essay from my MSc programme, but it’s a bit long and I didn’t want to deal with reformatting all the footnotes to get them out of .doc encoding. Besides, I knew I wouldn’t have time to hunt down unrestricted images to use with it. My thoughts then turned to public domain texts, and immediately went to Sherlock Holmes. (( One of my New Years Resolutions is to re-read all of the Holmes stories in publication order. )) I also thought about using one of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s letters, or a bit of Margaret Bayard Smith’s memoirs, but I’m not as familiar with them and it would have been harder to find a section which would provide a block quotation and good pull quote.

I thus chose to use A Scandal in Bohemia as my text. I’m familiar with it, it begins with a note from the Prince which I could use as a blockquote and includes in the beginning a classic Holmes line “You see, but you do not observe” which works very well as a pull quote. What follows are my thoughts on the design of the page, A Scandal In Bohemian Webfonts.

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Reading Sherlock Holmes

Preface: this was written as an entry for a contest on the blog of author Laurie R. King. I didn’t win, but thought I might post it here, with a little introduction for relevance.

I grew up with mysteries as a form of entertainment: the program Mystery! on PBS, and books like the Encyclopedia Brown series. The challenge was, and still is, to try and figure out what’s happened before the author tells you.

In historical research, there isn’t an author to tell you the solution. It is entirely up to you to ferret out all the clues and then reach your own conclusions (hopefully supported by the evidence!). I wanted to be like Sherlock Holmes and Jessica Fletcher when I was a kid; being a historian is, in a lot of ways, fulfilling that dream.

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