I have been wanting to share my M Phil thesis more widely for about a decade.
I had always intended to try to develop a book out of it. I must admit that I have put off re-reading it for all of that time. I knew that typographical errors would jump out at me that I had missed, despite going over it repeatedly, through over-familiarity with the text at the time (and sheer exhaustion – I had worked at least 16 to 18 hours a day on it during the final 6 weeks of writing). As soon as I had finished writing it, I wanted to revise it, and knew that I might change my interpretation of some facts. Having discovered some new primary material recently, I would probably want to revise an element of the family history, but it would not change very substantially what I wrote 12 years ago.
This is just the first chapter, slightly edited. It is the least illustrated chapter of the thesis. I want to publish the rest but there are issues with permission, although the original drawings, prints and paintings are all out of copyright. I cannot afford to pay fees to use official museum photographs of some of the key images (those in my thesis are my own photographs, taken with permission for research purposes).
After a decade of writing for the Web for a general audience, the paragraphs look horrendously long to me. If you can face reading it, I would be delighted.