Glass Souls Historical Notes and Bibliography

[illum]Although Glass Souls and the following volumes in the The House of the Rose series are works of fiction, in the writing of this novel we tried to keep as closely to historical fact as we could.[/illum][illumC]

Many of the supporting players in our story– such as King Louis IX, Sultana Shajar-ad-Durr, Robert Comte d’Artois, and Master William de Sonnac– were real people, and where possible, I have used their words and actions as recorded by contemporary letter-writers, diarists, and historians.

For the portion of the novel that takes place during the ill-fated Seventh Crusade, I relied heavily on Sir Jean de Joinville’s memoir of his Crusade experiences, though we took the liberty of adapting some of the individual events to fit the needs of our story. Where possible, we also used the recorded dialogue of King Louis, Robert d’Artois, and others, though some of it is out of context.

[illum]For the Islamic point of view, we used Al-Macrisi’s account of the Crusade, especially where it pertains to the internal political struggles surrounding the death of the Sultan and the accession of the Sultana to his place. Most impressively, Al-Macrisi’s dates, although his account was written almost a century after de Joinville’s memoirs, coincide exactly with the French record.[/illum][illumC]

The House of the Rose is entirely fictional, but the Templars were real. The descriptions of Michel’s experiences as a member of the Order are drawn from two sources: the Primitive (original) Rule of the Templars, dating from about 1150, and a later version with more rules, examples, and penalties, dating from the early 1200′s.

The ready availability of primary sources on the Internet, through scanned texts at university libraries, also meant that I had access to medieval documents such as leases and bills of sales, which provided invaluable information into how 13th-century merchants conducted their day-to-day business.

[illum]We also visited a number of the places mentioned in this series, such as Ypres, London, Lyon, Istanbul, Konya, and Aigues Mortes, and took the opportunity to photographing the surviving sites and buildings mentioned in this novel. We will be posting photographic tours of various locations at intervals on the Photo Tours page.[/illum][illumC]

We took the greatest liberties with the characters of the Sumerian pantheon and their adventures as preserved in cuneiform texts and translated by modern scholars. Although we based our work on a great deal of research, we freely invented origins, motivations, and additional adventures for these enduring literary deities.

Partial Bibliography for Glass Souls


Account of the Crusade of St. Louis,” (an extract from Essulouk li Mariset il Muluk — The Road to Knowledge of the Return of Kings by Al-Makrisi, 1369), hosted at the Internet Medieval Sourcebook.

Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (Edward William Lane, London, 1836)

The Internet Medieval Sourcebook (at Fordham University:

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