I bought “The Last Pirate” hook, line, and sinker. I started at the beginning of the blog and read how Jane came up with her idea for her research paper, how she struggled to find the sources she needed, and then found her smoking gun with the will of Edmund Owens. I kept thinking “this is what I love about history!” and “I should do a blog about my research for my thesis (not nearly as compelling as pirates).” In the last post, when I discovered that it was a hoax, I was somewhat disappointed, but also it was kind of exhilarating to have a good surprise perpetrated on me like that.
Like Stephanie, I have been mulling over the reasons why I was so easily duped by this. For me, the links, the videos, the story about Jane were all very convincing. But, I also really wanted to believe the whole thing. The story resonated with the best-case scenario of historical research that I have in my head, where if you work hard enough you can find exactly what you want and really break new ground. I thought that the class that made the blog sounded like an interesting premise. It sounds like it proved its point effectively and truly engaged the students who participated. I am not sure that I would ever have the guts to teach that class.