April 21st, 2009


Let's not have that conversation...

Over the course of the last 25 years or so, I've had the curious fate of doing two things that very many people find fascinating: studying the history, literature and languages of the Celtic- and Gaelic-speaking peoples of the British Isles, and writing. It's unusual and it is, I recognise, privileged. I was very lucky: I went from an ordinary state-funded school (a comprehensive, for British readers) to an elite university without having any family tradition of this, the 'right' class background or inherited money. I studied an obscure subject and won state funding to pursue and even more obscure subset of that subject at PhD level. I even managed (with a lot of effort) to gain jobs in which I was able to continue working in this field, both as researcher and teacher. And then I got a novel published. That's a lot of big things. I'm lucky or odd or both. And I know it. I accept that my academic background and speciality are of interest to others. I am usually fairly happy to talk about it, to listen to others' ideas and to offer bibliography, information and ideas.
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