You are not alone. With more time on their hands than they know what to do with, people are inevitably seeking out new thrills on the internet. This phenomenon has even reached this website, with the number of visitors increasing by 40% over the past month.
Who is now accessing Cornish studies resources and what are they clicking on? First, the location of visitors mirrors the Cornish diaspora. While the majority (56%) are in the UK, 20% are from the States and 9% from Australia.
What are they reading? Unsurprisingly, the most looked at pages are related to surnames, their origin and history, with the highest number of views this year garnered by ‘18th century surnames by parish‘ and ‘What makes a surname Cornish?’. The scores of comments and queries on the last are possibly as interesting as the piece itself. The two other pages getting the most hits are ‘Cornwall’s population history before 1750’ and ‘Fact and fiction in The Last Kingdom’. People are oddly drawn to this last, a slightly tongue in cheek discussion of the historical accuracy and the treatment of Cornwall and the Cornish in the TV series based on Bernard Cornwell’s books. Maybe the title suggests something more spectacular. Sorry to disappoint.
The blog posts that have been most popular are perhaps more predictable. Those with most views – ‘Cholera in Cornwall‘ and ‘The Black Death in Cornwall‘ – have a certain contemporary resonance, although they may help to put things in perspective. Next come two of my series of blogs on Cornwall’s rarer indigenous surnames – ‘Local Cornish surnames. But which locality?’ and ‘Some Cornish surnames with single points of origin’. Finally, there are two posts that might appeal to Cornish revivalists – ‘Cornish past and present, placenames and polemics’ is a review and summary of Ken Mackinnon’s papers on the Cornish language, now available online, and Rod Lyon’s book Colloquial doesn’t mean Corrupt. Meanwhile, ‘The myth of Dumnonia‘ seeks to undermine a cherished historical belief.
Whether you agree with my scribblings or not, thanks for coming back to this site. I hope you find something here of interest or value. If you have any suggestions for topics either to blog about or to provide slightly more extended treatment on a page of their own, do let me know.