If you are very observant, you might have noticed that a site called “The Historical Spectator” has been listed for a little while in the right margin over there. →

This is a small experiment in creating a very simple Web site that is pleasantly easy to read, the way a traditional book is, and at the same time makes almost no demands either on the server or on your browser. It is pure text, arranged in a column of about the ideal width for reading, with text comfortably but not annoyingly large, using your browser’s default fonts. The formatting is controlled by a two-kilobyte CSS file, and that is all there is to the content-management system.

As for the content, it consists of meanderings in the curious byways of history. When Dr. Boli finds a chunk of text that illuminates some dusty corner of the past in an entertaining way, he will post it here, so that others may be entertained by it as well. If you have a long memory, you might recall that Dr. Boli had a site called “The Historical Spectator” years ago that was also dedicated to “history as seen by the people who lived through it.” That site still exists as a backup on some local disk in this pile right here under the desk, and some of its material may eventually be brought back.

The current site is hosted on free space as an annex of the Eclectic Library, which is also built in almost pure HTML. The address may change at some point if the free server becomes unusable, as free servers sometimes do (although this one has been going for several years now). But free space is very useful for little experiments like this one.