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Glass Souls Historical Notes And Bibliography

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/)

The Memoirs Of The Lord Of Joinville (translated by Ethel Wedgwood. E.P. Dutton, New York, 1906)

The Paston Letters: A Selection in Modern Spelling (Oxford World’s Classics) (ed. Norman Davies. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1983)

The Primitive Rule of the Templars (Council of Troyes, 1129; Translated by Judith Upton-Ward)

The Rule of the Templars: The French Text of the Rule of the Order of the Knights Templar (Studies in the History of Medieval Religion)
 (translated by Judith Upton-Ward. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1992) Includes the Templars’ Primitive Rule and the Hierarchical Statutes; regulations governing penances, conventual life, the holding of ordinary chapters, and reception into the Order; and an appendix by Matthew Bennett, “La Régle du Temple as a Military Manual, or How to Deliver a Cavalry Charge.”


Al Ja’fari, Fatimah Suzanne, Digest of Muslim Names: Beautiful Muslim Names and Their Meaning (amana publications, 1417 AH/1997 AC)

Aries, Philippe and Duby, Georges (eds.) A History of Private Life: Revelations of the Medieval World (translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 1988)

Burman, Edward: The Templars: Knights of God (The Rise and Fall of the Knights Templars) (Thorsons Publishing Group, 1986)

Contamine, Philippe: War in the Middle Ages (Translated by Michael Jones. Blackwell Publishers, 1984)

Feist, Aubrey: The lion of St. Mark;: Venice: the story of a city from Attila to Napoleon (The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1971)

Finucane, Roland C.: Soldiers of the Faith: Crusaders and Moslems at War (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1983)

Gies, Frances and Joseph: Daily Life in Medieval Times (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, New York, 1999) Combined edition of three earlier books: Life in a Medieval Castle, Life in a Medieval City, and Life in a Medieval Village.

Gies, Frances: The Knight in History  (Harper & Row, New York, 1984)

Glubb, Sir John: A Short History of the Arab Peoples (J.B.G. Ltd, 1969)

Kramer, Samuel Noah: History Begins at Sumer: Thirty-Nine Firsts in Recorded History (The University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981)

Majno, Guido: The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World (Harvard University Press; Cambridge, MA; 1991)

Maalouf, Amin: The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (Al Saqi Books, 1984)

Postgate, J.N.: Early Mesopotamia: Society and Economy at the Dawn of History (Routledge, London and New York, 1992, 1994)

Prescott, H.F.M: Once to Sinai(The Macmillan Company, New York, 1958)

Riley-Smith, Jonathan (ed.), The Atlas of the Crusades (Cultural Atlas of) (Facts on File, New York, 1991)

Riley-Smith, Jonathan, The Crusades: A Short Story (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1987)

Ryan, William and Pitman, Walter: Noah’s Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About The Event That Changed History (Simon & Schuster, New York 1998)

Wise, Terence and Embleton G A: Armies of the Crusades (Men at Arms Series, 75) (Osprey Publishing Ltd, 1978)

Wolkstein, Diane and Kramer, Samuel Noah: Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer (Harper and Row Publishers, Inc. 1983)

And special thanks to Dr. John Mitchell, (http://www.dubsar.com) for great helpfulness in determining the meaning of the name Ninshubur; The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, (http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/index.htm) for online translations of the original epics; and the Sumerian Lexicon. Version 3.0. by. John A. Halloran. See http://www.sumerian.org/sumerlex.htm for the building blocks of Sumerian names.

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