John Britton 1771-1857: Researching Writing Lives

Initially I was apprehensive about doing the module ‘Writing Lives’ , as I had never done anything like this before; however, when I adopted my author John Britton, and began to read his autobiography I became so intrigued with his life and work that researching came easy and the process began to flow.

When first adopting my author, in order to gleam some information on him, I read his Wikipedia page, and after the course of this module I’ve realized how factually inaccurate and underdeveloped previous knowledge on his personal page was. An example of this would be that according to Wikipedia, John Britton was an orphan and made no mention of his family, whereas according to my research he was in fact not an orphan and had a large family who he worked for and was very close with his mother. Now, there is a historically accurate body of information with will forever remain available to any who wish to learn about him, thanks to the long hours of research I have done over the course of this module.

Through this research I have been pleasantly surprised by just how interesting a man John Britton was. Britton was someone who stuck with his convictions despite the fact that they could result in punishment by the government, someone who believed in charity and helping those that needed it, and perhaps most importantly, was someone who was beloved by many family and friend alike.

Thanks to this module I’ve also learned how to write blogs, which is something that I previously didn’t know how to do as well as how to successfully promote my writing, as well as other students’ writing, on twitter. Looking at other students’ work increased my knowledge on many other interesting people.

I would like to think Helen Rogers for providing this wonderful opportunity to expand my knowledge on working class writers, something I didn’t know much about. Helen has worked diligently throughout the year giving feedback to all students as well as personally providing me with secondary sources, which helped me understand the context of the time John Britton was working in as a working class author.

I hope people have enjoyed and learned from what I have written, as I have enjoyed researching and writing it. I was very grateful to see that one of my blog posts had received 15 retweets and 10 likes on twitter; seeing that it received such a warm reaction it made all the long hours of hard work worth it. For final comment, I would highly recommend future students to take part in this unique and interesting module.

 

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