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House Of Memory Historical Notes And Bibliography

Although House of Memory is a work of fiction, in the writing of this novel we tried to keep as closely to historical fact as we could.

Some of the supporting players in our story– such as King Henry and Queen Eleanor of England, and Amadeus de Morestello– were real people, and where possible, we have used their words and actions as recorded by contemporary letter-writers, diarists, and historians.

Speaking of Amadeus de Morestello, the information on the Templar Masters in England is rather sketchy, and in the course of our research, we found conflicting dates for de Morestello’s short-lived tenure as the head of the English Templars. For dramatic purposes, we chose to go with the dates recorded in Evelyn Lord’s Knights Templar in Britain, which gives the years 1259-60.

The House of the Rose is entirely fictional, but the Hansa were real. The descriptions of the Hanseatic League’s trade practices and often-uneasy relationship with the English Crown are well-documented in medieval annals.

Just as a side-note, Karin’s mother’s family comes from the vicinity of the Hanseatic city of Luebeck in Northern Germany, and as a child, she spent many happy summers roaming the cobblestoned streets of this well-preserved medieval city. Inhabitants of the present Hanseatic cities are very proud of their heritage, and the Hanseatic League lives on in festivals and cultural monuments. Even the license plate numbers for cars registered in the former Hanseatic cities still identify themselves with the following prefixes: “HB” for Hansestadt Bremen, “HH” for Hansestadt Hamburg, and “HL” for Hansestadt Luebeck. For example, the license plate for a car registered in Hamburg would be “HH 12345.”

The ready availability of primary sources on the Internet, through scanned texts at university libraries, also meant that we 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.

Karin also lived in London during the summer of 2000, and took the opportunity to visit the surviving medieval churches and buildings mentioned in the last third of this novel.

Partial Bibliography for House of Memory

In addition to the materials used for researching Glass Souls, we also relied on the following books:


The Chronicles of London  (Andrew Saint and Gillian Darley. St. Martins Press, NY, 1994)

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.

Four Gothic Kings: The Turbulent History of Medieval England and the Plantagenet Kings (1216-1377 Henry III, Edward I, Edward II, Edward III Se) (ed. Elizabeth Hallam. Weidenfield & Nicolson, NY, 1987)

The Internet Medieval Sourcebook (at Fordham University: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/)

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

Trades and Crafts in Medieval Manuscripts (ed. Patricia Basing. The British Library, London, 1990)


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)

Davis, HWC (ed.) Medieval England (Oxford University Press, 1928)

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)

Howell, Margaret: Eleanor of Provence: Queenship in Thirteenth-Century England (Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, 1998)

Lord, Evelyn, Knights Templar in Britain (Facts on File, New York, 1992)

Matthew, Donald (ed.), ATLAS OF MEDIEVAL EUROPE. (Facts on File, New York, 1992)

Nash, E. Gee, The Hansa (Barnes and Noble Books, 1995)

Postel, Rainer, “The Hanseatic League and its Decline,” (A paper read at the Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT, on 20 November, 1996; published on the Web http://www.conflicts.rem33.com/images/deut/hansa.htm)

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

And special thanks to Stefan’s Florilegium (http://www.florilegium.org) for information and recipes pertaining to medieval perfumes and pomanders.

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