Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Ever-Expanding Bookshelf

With each one of my historical fantasy novels, I add another section to my already crowded reference library. It’s an eclectic assortment, reflecting many historical periods and many systems of belief. There are the books on northern exploration and Finnish mythology from my research for The Snow Queen; British prehistory (The Grey Isles trilogy) and prehistoric Indus Valley archaeology (Winter on the Plain of Ghosts.) There are Elizabethan histories and alchemical texts for The Alchemist’s Daughter, and a full shelf of books on Tibetan Buddhism and Himalayan travel for Dance of the Snow Dragon.

Here’s a sampling of the books I used for my latest novel, Wild Talent: a Novel of the Supernatural. You won’t find all of them in your local library, but for anyone interested in late Victorian England or fin de siècle Paris,-- particularly in the flourishing artistic and occult movements of the period – they’re well worth tracking down.

Charles Dickens, Dickens’s Dictionary of London 1888: an Unconventional Handbook (compiled by the novelist Charles Dickens’s son, and reprinted by Old House Books, Devon, England 1993)
Charles Fort, Wild Talents (Ace Books, 1932; reprinted in Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover, 1975)
Barbara & Michael Foster, Forbidden Journey – The Life of Alexandra David-Neel (Harper & Row, 1987)
Philippe Jullian, Dreamers of Decadence (Praeger, 1971)
Ian MacDougall, Bondagers: Eight Scots Women Farm Workers (Tuckwell Press, 2000)
Marion Meade, Madame Blavatsky, The Woman Behind the Myth (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1980)
Alexander Varias, Paris and the Anarchists: Aesthetes and Subversives During the Fin de Siècle (St. Martin’s Press, 1996)


Julie H. Ferguson said...

How do you find enough space for them all? I'm struggling with all my research books...

Eileen said...

I just keep buying more shelves until I run out of walls.