Dates and Stats

Filed under: Site News; in the year 2011, on the 25th day of October at 11:23 am

I’ve added two new features to the site today.

The first is a listing of all the poems on the site by date of composition. This is something I’ve wanted to have for ages, but is only possible through the scholarship of Norman Watson in his book Poet McGonagall. His list of 270 McGonagall poems by date has allowed me to add this feature, as well as identifying plenty of “new” gems for me to track down and add to the site!

The second feature is a page of statistical analysis of McGonagall’s output. At the moment it’s a pretty simplistic charting of subject and composition dates, but I’m open to suggestions on other analyses that could be performed.

A Royal Wedding Day

Filed under: Readers’ Gems; in the year 2011, on the 20th day of October at 4:45 pm

This summer’s happy event inspired the following “gem” from Jean Stavely:

A Royal Wedding Day

Prince William is going to marry his sweetheart Kate,
We hope that at the altar she will not be late,
It would be very tragic if the congregation were kept waiting,
And then perhaps they would begin berating.

The crowds of people will be standing along the street,
Shouting aloud their new Princess to greet,
As the couple return from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace
We hope no-one will bear them any malice.

In his uniform the Prince will look very grand,
And in the coach he will graciously wave his royal hand,
Our gracious Queen will become Catherine’s grandmama-in-law,
And on the young Princess blessings will pour.

A fairy-tale wedding this will be
With a handsome Prince so fit to see,
As in the story he will have found his Cinderella,
We pray no rain will fall so she will need her umbrella.

The service will be watched throughout the world by millions,
Soldiers, sailors, airmen and plenty of civilians.
There will be street parties all over the place
And everyone will have a smile on their face.

We hope the new Royal couple will find great happiness
And on them will fall no stress,
When William becomes king it will be seen,
That Catherine will be the sixth of that name to have become England’s Queen.

Welcome, Thrice Welcome

Filed under: Site News; in the year 2011, on the 18th day of October at 2:30 pm

’Twas in the year 2011, and of October the 18th Day,
That the appearance of McGonagall Online was changed in a dramatic way…

Today is an important one in the history of McGonagall Online – after two months of development, a complete redesign of the site has gone live. The new look makes use of a lot of 21st century features, whilst retaining a resolutely 19th century appearance.

The site now sits on a heavily customised install of WordPress, which allows me to include this blog, commenting on individual pages & poems, more sophisticated linking between pages and many other features.

I hope you’ll like the new look. It’s intended to have the impression of an upmarket Victorian book, and uses many design elements drawn from a genuine typefounder’s catalogue published in 1897. The marbled background is a heavily transformed section of this image.

Most of the page addresses have changed as a result of this redesign. If you had any links and/or bookmarks pointing to pages on the old site, they should continue to work as they get redirected to the equivalent page of the new site. Please let me know if this doesn’t happen for you.

The only element of the old site that has been broken is the “Gem of the Day” mailing list. If you signed up in the past to get each day’s gem emailed to you, you’ll need to register as a user of the new site to continue to get them sent to you. Once you’ve got a user account, you can log in to your profile to adjust the frequency of deliveries. Logging on as a user also makes it a bit quicker to post comments too.

A new feature of the site is the shop, where as well as a range of McGonagall books (via your local version of Amazon), you can buy T-shirts and other McGonagalia. Keep an eye on this page, as new products will be appearing there soon!

Another new feature is the “Readers’ Gems” category of this blog. If you feel moved to write your own gem in McGonagallesque vein, on any subject, feel free to send it in and I’ll post it up here.

I hope you like the new design, use the comments below to tell me what you think.