Illustration · Masters tales · Miscellaneous · PhD


Have I mentioned that I’m thinking about going for one?

I have a masters in creative writing and I have found a project that I really want to study. Nineteenth Century industrialisation and disability…

Sounds boring?

It isn’t.

Imagine being about to interview the disabled from two centuries ago. There would be some that couldn’t cope, they would live on the margins, there would be some in asylums, some in freak shows and some struggling to survive. What would their tale be? Would they have to hide? Joseph Merrick hid, he had a face mask that covered him, but did you know that he only ended up a pauper and back in London because he had been robed of his life savings? Up until that moment he was a wealthy man with money he had made because he was disabled.

Joseph Merrick (Elephant Man) by Adam Skutt

But then Merrick was luckily smart and competent enough to take care of his own financial resources. Some had to rely on others and that led to deaths and a life of slavery.

Recently, there has been a movie about freak shows. Although thinking about it as I tap away at my keyboard there have been a few. American horror story is one; there people have to deal with psychotic clowns and exploitation. Then there is ‘The Showman’ with a lovely Hugh Jackman, based on PT Barnum. I haven’t seen it but it looks like it’s about the empowerment of the disabled, except this is a fine line to tread. Was it all singing and dancing? No, I can guarantee that, but then when is any ‘true-life’ film completely accurate?

So that is what I want to study. Although this is huge! I mean I already have enough information to study for about 5 PhD’s and I’ve not even started. So I guess it is all about narrowing down the research.

What about the business and the books?

Well, they will all still be happening but maybe a little slower. Don’t worry. I’m still going to be an author and an artist…


If anything the only reason I don’t have a PhD is because of my own disability. Basically I’ve been too scared. The masters was terrifyingly difficult. This is going to be harder. But I really want this. I want to go into research. I love writing non-fiction. I love writing essays. I just hope I can keep being brave enough…

6 thoughts on “PhD’s

  1. You are so right. You need to focus on what you really, really want. I watched the American Horror Story you are talking about. The people in the show were fantastic! That was the best one they have produced.

  2. Hello, Kate. I think your subjects are very interesting. I’ve been interested in anything 19th C. related since I was a kid. I’ve watched my share of stories dealing with the appalling conditions of asylums and characters that came from them. Also, I learned about Joseph Merrick by chance when I was watching an episode of Mysteries at the Museum. His extraordinary will and inner strength helped him gain the independence he wanted. I hope you find the strength and the will to pursue whatever makes you feel happy and fulfilled. Sending you positive vibes and well wishes. 🙂 Good luck!

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