Researching Writing Lives – Jack Lanigan (1890-1975)

My life of eighty two years has been a wonderful experience of evolution and revolution…

Jack Lanigan, ‘Thy Kingdom Did Come’, 83.

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Figure 1. Jack Lanigan’s memoir, ‘Thy Kingdom Did Come’.

Being part of the collaborative research project, Writing Lives, has been an enjoyable and fascinating experience to say the least. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to contribute to public history. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing the heart breaking yet heart-warming story of Jack Lanigan to the public via blog posts and social media and I feel that this project has given a platform for the voices of these ordinary working-class people to be heard. Creating an author blog required responsibility, to tell the story of one working-class person sensitively and share this with the public which I feel helps change stereotypical views of the working class, something I believe Jack Lanigan also hoped to gain through writing his memoir by educating the public, as I feel I have also done through my author blog.

author blog
Figure 2. My author blog, Jack Lanigan (1890-1975).

Prior to this project I had some experience of blogging but was keen to develop this to a professional level which this project has enabled me to do. However, dedicating every blog to one person’s life was new to me and initially daunting as I was nervous of not conveying and expressing Jack Lanigan’s message and purpose correctly, or conveying the true character of Jack Lanigan to how he would have wished to be portrayed. Although, Jack Lanigan’s memoir was fantastic to work with given his vivid memories and descriptive writing style and having such an interesting life enabled me to have exciting new posts each week and made this project even more enjoyable.

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Figure 3. My social media, @WritingLives_LS

Creating an author blog has advanced my technological and research skills and gave me the confidence to share my work through social media. The project has shown me the importance of social media as a tool for education and as a platform for my own voice, my fellow students and that of Jack Lanigan. I have developed a style of writing tailored to blogging and for a specific audience which has also advanced my academic writing and I will continue to develop this in future projects. As well as this, the project has introduced me to the various ways of researching through images, primary and secondary sources and digital archives and I have thoroughly enjoyed uncovering the past through this research.

Knowing that I have created an informative source for the public gives me a sense of pride. I am privileged to have been able to tell the world the fascinating story of Jack Lanigan, a man who began life with the harshest struggles but whose determination and work ethic gave him a better life for him and his family, in the words of Jack Lanigan, ‘Thy Kingdom Did Come’. Through all of this he maintains his humble mind-set.

I will take away from this project not only the skills that I have developed in writing, technology and blogging but also Jack Lanigan’s story, and I hope to have shown the ‘evolution and revolution’ of his life through my blog posts.

 

Works Cited:

1:421 Lanigan, Jack, ‘Thy Kingdom Did Come’, TS, pp.92 (c.42,000 words). Burnett Collection of Working Class Autobiography, Brunel University Library.

Lanigan, Jack, ‘Thy Kingdom Did Come’, TS, pp.92 (c.42,000 words). Extract in J. Burnett (ed.), Destiny Obscure. Autobiographies of childhood, education and family from the 1820s to the 1920s (Allen Lane, London, 1982), pp.95-9. Brunel University Library.

Images:

Fig. 1.

1:421 Lanigan, Jack, ‘Thy Kingdom Did Come’, TS, pp.92 (c.42,000 words). Burnett Collection of Working Class Autobiography, Brunel University Library.

Lanigan, Jack, ‘Thy Kingdom Did Come’, TS, pp.92 (c.42,000 words). Extract in J. Burnett (ed.), Destiny Obscure. Autobiographies of childhood, education and family from the 1820s to the 1920s (Allen Lane, London, 1982), pp.95-9. Brunel University Library.

Fig. 2.

‘Jack Lanigan (1890-1975’, (my own image)

Fig. 3.

‘My social media’, (own image)

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