Endymion's anniversary - 10 years wandering in the storm
4th September 2020
Ten years blogging by moonlight - it's a bloggiversary!
What with many of us here in the UK sweltering under a heatwave recently, it seems an odd sort of time preparing this post under the banner of ‘blogging by moonlight’ – with all its connotations of coolness and serenity. But a certain date on the calendar urges me to do so, because this year, on 4th September, Endymion is actually 10 years old.
Hooray! Open the bubbly! (Any excuse).
This post will be looking back briefly, therefore, at some of the joys, frustrations and highlights of what has now totalled 124 posts. Actually, there have been quite a few more than 124 but several of the older ones would have been deleted by now. This is the nature of blogging, of course. A post might seem very topical and important when it first appears (say, upon the launch of a new book or having discovered a lovely new recipe to tell the world about), but that sort of topic can become outdated pretty quickly.
At the very start, the blog was called ‘Endymion at Night' – since that was the only name available on the one-size-fits-all Blogspot (or Blogger) platform that I started out with online. Blogger (owned by Google) has always been a good option for beginners because it takes care of all the technical stuff and the design.
The downside is that the more popular your blog becomes the more likely it is that ads will eventually be placed on it, whether you like it or not - you know, those nice little insets explaining how to remove ear-wax or to find romance in far-away places. The first time this happened I decided to move on and learn how to do things myself (the blog, I mean, not finding romance in far away places).
By this time I had arranged for a proper .com as a showcase for historical fiction, and so it was a natural progression to simply append the blog Endymion to that, even if it meant having to learn quite a bit of ‘techy’ stuff along the way. And here, all being well, Endymion seems likely to remain at liberty for the foreseeable future. And no ads!
So what about those highlights? Well, we have been looking at some splendid paintings over the years. This one, for instance, probably one of the most visited pages on Endymion:
Elizabeth I's Sieve Portrait
And this one, too:
Joseph Wright of Derby and friends.
That was certainly the most lengthy of all the posts- so much so that it was originally split into 4 smaller ones. But, after all, it is an incredibly interesting subject.
Small is beautiful, sometimes
A blogpost doesn’t have to be long, though, to be interesting. For instance:
Something about the Moon
Regular visitors here will have gathered by now that the blog has some favourite voices from history - artists, writers or musicians whose works have embraced the Gothic and/or the Romantic vision of life. From the allegory-rich world of the Elizabethans to the more ‘recent’ 18th and 19th century poets such as Blake or Keats - they all fit very well under the banner of Endymion, a name that sometimes even crops up in some of their works.
Poets for Halloween (Keats's birthday).
Also getting their fair share of space here, has been that talented group of men and women of the mid-Victoria era, the Pre-Raphaelites - including several of their later followers, poets, painters and photographers whose work extends right through to the early 20th century and the final years of the Belle Epoque.
Arthur Hughes and his 'Property Room'.
On the bicentenary of the birth of Julia Margaret Cameron.
The Great Outdoors
Endymion is devoted to lots of other things, though, and invariably with an appreciative eye on the subject of gardens and the great outdoors:
The garden in Autumn.
Or to the ideas hidden within great music:
Du Bist die Ruh.
Guests and milestones
Along the way, there have also been one or two distinguished guest appearances:
Special Halloween Guest Post from A. Robin, Esq.
And anniversaries too, of course: important milestones during the course of the decade, such as the centenary marking the start of the First World War - or, somewhat more positively, the 50 years since the Apollo moon landing in 1969.
Apollo 11 lands on the Moon!
But what about today's subtitle?
This post is subtitled '10 years of wandering in the storm'. It's taken from the subject of a page from 2017, another anniversary, in fact, it having been 30 years on from a night when those of us living in the south of England were hit by a hurricane that caused widespread devastation. It got me thinking about storms of all kinds, and reminded me of a marvellous painting from the height of the European Romantic period ...
Wanderer in the Storm - by Julius von Leypold, 1835.
This powerful 19th-century painting by the German artist Julius von Leypold seems quite an appropriate metaphor for many inveterate Romantics or undercover Goths today, those of us who must inhabit a world that sometimes really doesn't seem to fit all that well. But every storm must run its course - even those that rage against the landscape of the human spirit, and perhaps we should not be discouraged from buttoning up our coats every once in a while and showing a little defiance.
In finishing today, it occurs to me that one or two readers will have been glancing through these pages from the very start, right back from September 2010. Thank you. It is an enormous thrill, blended with not a little amazement, to think that you continue to visit from just about every part of the world, something that was not anticipated for one moment when Endymion first started out all those years ago.
And now I’m off to follow that chap in the painting. I want to find out exactly where he’s going. I think it must be somewhere very special. And then, if I can, I’ll come back and tell you all about it.