In His Own Words

Filed under: Site News; in the year 2011, on the 14th day of November at 7:11 pm

One of the advantages of the new site is that I now effectively have all McGonagall’s published works in a database. Leveraging that with the skills acquired in my day job, means I’ve been able to do a little statistical analysis. Add in some help from the rather brilliant Tagxedo and I’ve been able to produce some art too:

This image was created by counting all the words used in all the gems on this site, discarding words like “the” and “a”, and displaying the next 600 most popular words in proportion to how often they appear. Thus the most commonly used words are “beautiful”, “hearts”, “days” and “british” all the way down to “end”, “fro”, “led” and “sin”. Personally, I think it’s rather touching that the so-called disaster poet’s favourite word was “beautiful” rather than anything more bloodthirsty.

If you like this image, you can buy it on a T-shirt in the McGonagalia shop.

Five “New” Gems

Filed under: Site News; in the year 2011, on the 3rd day of November at 12:45 pm

I’ve just acquired a copy of McGonagall and Tommy Atkins, a book published in the early seventies that focuses on his military works.

The author, David Phillips, had just completed his biography of McGonagall – No Poet’s Corner at the Abbey – and had obviously spent time browsing through Dundee Library’s collection of original manuscripts and broadsheets, because five previously unpublished poems appeared in the book. I’ve now transcribed them onto the site.

So, for the first time in nearly forty years, feast your eyes on…