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Kalamazoo Book Intake Post

Sunday, May 14, 2017 - 18:45

This is it, the inventory of the book haul! The final count is either 20 or 22. (I also bought two of Candace Robb's backlist as e-books while chatting with her, but I'm not sure if that counts.) As usual, the books fall in certain themes, based not only on longstanding interests, but on current research topics.

For the Lesbian Historic Motif Project

Traub coverTraub, Valerie. 2016. Thinking Sex with the Early Moderns. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0812223897 - A more general book than the previous works of hers that I’ve covered for the LHMP, but I hope to find something new and interesting. Traub is one of a group of historians doing some very interesting work on this history of sexuality in the early modern period.

Williams coverWilliams, Craig A. 2010. Roman Homosexuality. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195388749 - Most general works on homoeroticism in the classical Roman period consist of 99% discussion of men and half a page on women. This book follows that pattern, but since it was second-hand at the Powell's booth and cheap, I figured I might as well include it in the project for the sake of completeness. After all, one of the purposes of the LHMP is to advise readers on which reference works it's worth their time to track down and which not to bother with.

Hallett coverHallett, Judith P. & Marilyn B Skinner (eds). 1997. Roman Sexualities. Princeton University Press . ISBN 978-0691011783 - This is likely to be similar to the preceding in terms of amount of relevant material -- perhaps less so since it covers all sexualities not just homosexual ones. The same reason and disclaimer applies.

Karras coverKarras, Ruth Mazo. 2005. Sexuality in Medieval Europe: Doing Unto Others. Routledge. ISBN 978-1138860896- For LHMP. A brief skim in the index and contents indicated that the relevant contents are already covered in the LHMP from more immdiate sources. But since this seems to be a commonly available book, it's worth reviewing as reader advice.

Staples coverStaples, Kate Kelsey. 2011. Daughters of London: Inheriting Opportunity in the Late Middle Ages. BRILL. ISBN 978-9004203112 - I picked this up as being of interest for the LHMP in the economic angle of “what circumstances might provide a woman with the resources to live outside a heteronormative paradigm?” While this is an angle that had only a tangential relationship to sexuality in history, it's very relevant to people writing historical fiction who want to give their characters plausibly independent lives.

Eisenbichler coverEisenbichler, Konrad. 2012. The Sword and the Pen: Women, Politics, and Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Siena. University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 978-0268027766 - Eisenbicher wrote the article on the poetry Laudomia Forteguerri wrote for Duchess Margaret of Parma that inspired my short historical romance story “Where My Heart Goes”. I’m interested in more of Laudomia’s background. Who knows? Some day I might want to expand that story a little.

Women's History (General)

Andrea coverAndrea, Bernadette. 2017. The Lives of Girls and Women from the Islamic World in Early Modern British Literature and Culture. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-1487501259 - 16-17th c. Islamic women who found themselves--for whatever reason--in England and Scotland. I don't have any specific research interest this would address, but it looked fascinating from the point of view of multi-cultural history.

Sciacca coverSciacca, Christine. 2017. Illuminating Women in the Medieval World. J. Paul Getty Museum. ISBN 978-1606065266 - A collection of art works focusing on women’s lives with commentary on what they depict. I love this sort of “medieval picture book” for inspiration both on women’s lives and on material culture.

History of Magic

Klaassen coverKlaassen, Frank. 2013. The Transformations of Magic: Illicit Learned Magic in the Later Middle Ages and Renaissance. Penn State University Press. ISBN 978-0271056272 - The author compares two genres of learned magic: the acceptable “image magic” based on faithful recopyings of diagrams and whatnot, and the less acceptable ritual magic, which was more subject to experimentation and change, and could go into forbidden fields such as necromancy.

Flint coverFlint, Valerie I. J. 1994. The Rise of Magic in Early Medieval Europe. Princeton University Press . ISBN 978-0691001104 - How early Christianity sorted out what they were going to incorporate and what they were going to reject as forbidden and magic. My interest in many of these books is for deep-background on how attitudes towards magic might have evolved differently in the alternate timeline in which Alpennia exists.

Hughes coverHughes, Jonathan. 2012. The Rise of Alchemy in Fourteenth-Century England: Plantagenet Kings and the Serach for the Philosopher’s Stone. Bloomsbury Academic . ISBN 978-1441181831 - It’s hard to quit the alchemy habit. I may very well need to write another book focusing on alchemy just to make use of all the research materials I've gathered!

Textiles and Clothing

Kapustka coverKapustka, Mateusz & Warren T. Woodfin (eds). 2015. Clothing the Sacred: Medieval Textiles as Fabric, Form, and Metaphor. Dietrich Reimer Verlag GmbH. ISBN 978-3942810203 - A collection of papers covering eastern European topics. A few interesting mentions of surviving garments. I dithered on this one a bit, especially because I've let the Surviving Garments Database languish in a broken state for too long.

Brandenburgh coverBrandenburgh, Chrystel R. 2017. Clothes Make the Man: Early Medieval Textiles from the Netherlands. Leiden University Press. ISBN 9789087282608 - Lots of delicious artifacts, lovingly described, including excellent descriptions of a number of surviving garments. There's a whole series on archaological clothing/accessories from the Netherlands (one on shoes, one on purses) that is a good reminder of how much we miss when we study historic costume purely from English and French sources.

Netherton coverNetherton, Robin & Gale R. Owen-Crocker (eds.) 2017. Medieval Clothing and Textiles 13. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1783272150 - This year's volume of the journal isn't actually available yet so I won't have a chance to check out the contents until it arrives on my doorstep later.


Denholm-Young coverDenholm-Young, N. 1964. Handwriting in England and Wales. University of Wales Press. (no ISBN)- In the course of my research career, I've made (or collected) a significant number of photocopies of long out-of-print books. I made myself an “ethical pledge” that any time I encountered a physical copy of a book I'd photocopied and made use of, I would buy it. (Though I guess I'd make an exception for really really expensive antiques.) This is a guide to paleography that has been particularly useful to my historic re-enactment because it includes a selection of Welsh documents.

Stephenson coverStephenson, David. 2016. Medieval Powys: Kingdom, Principality and Lordships, 1132-1293. Boydell Press. ISBN 978-1783271405 - While I no longer jump at every Welsh historical title I come across, this one looked interesting enough to pick up. And one of these days I will be writing some lesbian historical fiction set in medieval Wales...

Morgan coverMorgan, Derec Lloyd. 2002. Cronica Walliae. University of Wales Press. ISBN 9780708316382 - An edition of Humphrey Llwyd’s 1559 chronicle of Welsh history as best he understood it at the time and one of several English language histories of Wales produced in the 16th century that were based in part on the Brut y Tywysogion. Interesting largely as a "period piece" illustrating what the people of the 16th century believed about their history.

General Research Material for Writing Projects

Fincham coverFincham, Garrick. 2004. Durobrivae: A Roman Town between Fen and Upland. The History Press . ISBN 978-0752433370 - A town in the general region where my languishing Romano-British historic romance is set. I’ll go back and completely re-write it some day, and I keep picking up research materials to that end.

Bonfil coverBonfil, Robert. 1994. Jewish Life in Renaissance Italy. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0520073500 - As with some of the other books I picked up, I don't have a specific research purpose for this, but I've been keeping in mind how easy it is to overlook even very significant minority groups in history if I haven't added them to my "research compost heap" before the ideas start percolating.


Robb coverRobb, Candace The Service of the Dead - A new murder mystery series set in medieval York by the author of the Owen Archer mysteries and the Margaret Kerr trilogy. Robb gave an entertaining talk on being a medievalist writing genre fiction as part of a panel on that topic. And I'm tickled to death by a personal connection: back when Daughter of Mystery had first come out, I had a copy in my backpack when I ended up sitting next to Robb in the audience at a Kalamazoo panel. I worked up my gumption and asked if she'd be willing to accept it as a gift--which she did, despite an understandable deer-in-the-headlights reaction. I forgot all about it (figuring that the important thing was that I'd managed to get up the nerve) until she popped up on my Twitter feed much later to say how much she enjoyed my book. I bought a hard copy of The Service of the Dead specifically so I could ask her to sign it, though I'll need to pick it (and the second book in the series) in e-book as well since that's the only way I read anymore. We bumped into each other in one of the building lobbies Saturday in a small group that ended up talking about pen names. When she mentioned regretting publishing her first two novels under a pen name, I whipped out my phone and bought them before she'd finished talking. So that's the "maybe two more" books in the tally.

And that's my Kalamazoo book haul for the year. There was an informal pool taking place on my facebook page as to the final number. I'll have to go back and report.

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