Amoris Est Imperare Orbi Universo
(To love it belongs to rule the whole world)
Agapeta exists now since six months, and this is its 50th post. The first one, dated 9 January, was the poem A Mosaic by Ernest Dowson. At that time, the blog style was restricted to bright text on a whole blue background, with the default black header bar giving the title and subtitle—the header image, red surrounding and right sidebar with Minnie Terry medallions were added in February.
I will discuss the blog’s readership and impact, which are still modest (an average of 25 views per day, and to my knowledge, very few posts linked or reblogged). Then I will give some related information.
Most popular posts and pages
WordPress statistics do not distinguish views of the home page from those of specific categories. Only views of individual posts and pages are counted separately. Thus even if a category contains a unique post, views of that post through that category will not be distinguished from those of the home page. Furthermore, views by logged in WordPress users are not taken into account.
Keeping in mind these limitations on blog statistics, the most viewed is the page Links, which must be a disappointing experience for many readers, since this page grows extremely slowly, as I tend to restrict myself to links that I consider really important. Next comes the descriptive page About Agapeta, which has now reached a quasi-definitive form. However the page Guidelines for comments and contributions has much less success, which is consistent with the small number of non-spam comments and the absence of any contribution or proposal by other authors.
After the Links and About Agapeta pages, a few posts stand out. The most viewed is Martial: Epigrams on Erotion, where the poet mourns a deceased little slave girl whom he loved tenderly. An interesting feature is that a comment by a reader contains a new English translation of Epigram 5.34, the most famous of the three devoted to Erotion. I recently found on YouTube a metric reading of the Latin original.
On the other hand, Martial’s Epigram on Canace, also about a deceased girl (but not loved by him), was much less successful. The same can be said about other poems devoted to dead children, by Boileau, Boothby and Dowson.
The battle for the second place was fought for weeks by two of the earliest posts: Eva, fille adorable et robot défectueux, a slightly extended French translation of an article in Pigtails in Paint, and the gallery Minnie Terry, Victorian child pin-up, which became a great hit from its day of publication. As this Minnie Terry gallery collects only a few pictures from well-known sources, I wonder if the term “pin-up” in the title attracted a few voyeurs. Finally, the competition ended in a draw.
Generally speaking, posts with pictures (especially of beautiful girls) attract more readers. Deep scholarly studies and unique transcriptions of texts, unless accompanied by girl images, will not be successful. Nevertheless, the fourth most viewed post is the poem Sonnets of a Little Girl, I by Ernest Dowson, whose only image (of a beautiful girl) is a “featured image” (above the title) that does not show when the post is viewed individually (a strange feature of WordPress). Moreover, this post collected 8 “Likes” by WordPress readers, the highest number. I give thus to that poem the Agapeta trophy:
Best countries… and girls!
The majority of readers come from the USA and France. The next two countries are the UK and Germany. However I note a less important country, Belgium, in particular its Dutch-speaking part: Flanders. Indeed, two Flemish blogs reblogged my post Images from readers and displayed the painting Quiet Autumn by Trent Gudmundsen: op een zomernacht and Mijn leven in woord en beeld.
On the other hand, the editor of Pigtails in Paint recently gave a link to an image by a reader mentioned in that post… and in May and June he had mentioned Agapeta, giving a link to it, this brought many new readers.
This blog op een zomernacht seems to a large extent devoted to young girls and reblogs many articles or photographs from other girl-oriented sites.
Pictures of Minnie Terry at an older age
In the above-mentioned 2nd most popular post and in Pigtails in Paint I showed some photographs of the actress Minnie Terry from the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria & Albert Museum collection. They are all dated around 1888 or 1889, when she was starting her career as a little girl (she was born on 1 January 1882). I have found some images of her as a young woman. First from 1894 (she was then 12), when she was playing the sylph coquette in the play Cinderella:
Then one from 1901 (one year after Dowson’s death), when she was 19:
A deceased blog
Sometimes one finds a WordPress blog whose last post announces that it is closed because it has reached 3 gigabytes of images, the limit for free blogs (don’t worry, at the current rate, Agapeta will take 93 years to reach it). There are others having stopped suddenly one day, with no reason given, nor any warning. This is the case with an interesting blog on the so-called “Decadents”, the unconventional artists and poets of the end of the 19th century: Decadenthandbook’s Blog. It contains many paintings, poems and scholarly analyses.
Agapeta is yours: suggestions of links, images, articles or topics of research are welcome, see the email address at the bottom.