Happy New Year from the Victorian Commons!

As 2013 begins, the Victorian Commons blog would like to wish all its readers a very Happy New Year! We’re looking forward to a new year of blogging, but in the meantime, here are some of our highlights of 2012.

Our most read blogs of the year were on Disraeli and One Nation Conservatism, giving the historical context for the term ‘One Nation’; on 19th century British views of American presidential elections; and on ministerial by-elections in the wake of Cabinet reshuffles.

We have provided a nineteenth-century viewpoint on some of the other events of 2012, ranging from the election of police commissioners to proposals for reforming constituency boundaries. With several new MPs entering the Commons following by-elections, we have drawn on the archives to offer some 19th century advice to the novice MP.

Several of our blogs have been on 19th century economic matters, ranging from the corn laws to quantitative easing. We have also featured a wide variety of other subjects, including the origins of the weather forecast and the parliamentary train. In October we contributed to National Poetry Day with some election verse and commemorated the anniversary of the fire which devastated Westminster in 1834.

Our new ‘MP of the month’ series began in November with John Walter, MP for Nottingham and owner of The Times, an appropriate choice given the ongoing debate about the relationship between politicians and the press. Equally apt for December was William Christmas, MP for Waterford. Continuing the festive theme, we also blogged about Edward Glover, former MP for Beverley, who spent Christmas Day 1857 in prison.

The Victorian Commons blog draws on our ongoing research for the History of Parliament’s House of Commons, 1832-1868 project, for which we are writing biographies of the 2,589 MPs who were elected during this period, as well as studies of the elections in each of the 401 constituencies in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Drafts of the articles we have completed to date can be accessed on our preview site.

We have also contributed to the main History of Parliament blog, notably during Parliament Week on the anniversary of the formation in 1830 of the Grey ministry.

If you would like to be alerted to future posts from The Victorian Commons, please follow us or join us on Twitter (@TheVictCommons).

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