Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Researching and writing in Oxford

As I mentioned in my last post, my family and I are in Oxford, England, for our usual working summer vacation. So what does a Civil War/Wild West historian do with himself in Oxford? Luckily, quite a lot!

Oxford University's Bodelian Library is a copyright library, meaning they have a copy of every book ever published in the UK. Since many American books have UK editions, I have acess to them. There's also a special library building specifically dedicated to American studies.

Right now I'm working on the second edition to my Outlaw Tales of Missouri. This includes two new chapters, one on the famous shootout in Springfield involving Wild Bill Hickok and the other about Francis Tumblety, a quack doctor in St. Louis who was a prime suspect for being Jack the Ripper.

I'm also working on an article about the Civil War experiences of several key figures in the O.K. Corral shootout and Arizona War. For more UK-centered research I'm also doing a behind-the-scenes article on the British Museum. Of course I'm busy with fiction too, both the sequal to A Fine Likeness and the novel I stated in Tangier.

All this writing won't keep me from enjoying a sunny British summer and some pints of real ale!

What are your writing plans for this summer?

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Wow. I would love to just see that library. I look forward to your research results.

  2. And in between research and ale, there is so much to see in Oxford! I only got to explore a couple days, but every corner held something fascinating.

  3. Oh, now I am jealous. Oxford is a beautiful place to spend the summer. Wonderful that you have access to that library for your research.

  4. The picture is gorgeous! It must be so beautiful there. Congrats the progress on all your projects -- you're a busy guy. :-)

  5. Hi Sean .. love Oxford .. and would love to go back sometime soon ... oh yes I was there the other day for a brief, brief visit to the Botanical Gardens and some art on display ...

    Pubs and the summer in Oxford .. what could be better - looking forward to your British Museum piece .. cheers Hilary


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