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Member: erilarlo

CollectionsYour library (600)

Reviews34 reviews

Tagsmedieval history (98), travel (57), maps (44), Bildatlas (36), castles (35), art (29), info (29), archaeology (19), seafaring (18), legend (17) — see all tags

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About meIn the SCA I'm Mechthild zur Drachenhöhle, erilar, an early 13th-century German who lives southeast of present-day Dresden on the Elbe. There's a bio attached to my home page that explains, among other things, the "erilar", my use-name.

I'm also Mary Loomer, and both of us play the harp, love books, shoot arrows, paint things, sew, play around with various crafts, and other things as well. I also research just for fun. When you don't have to DO anything with it, it really IS fun!

About my libraryI have thousands of books and keep acquiring more. The largest number are fiction paperbacks*, but there are also MANY books about things medieval, quite a few in German, most of which latter were acquired over there, but some via internet as well.

My fiction numbers in the thousands, and I'm NOT adding it, but I did add some of my favorite writers of historical fiction, even if I didn't list their books.

My Viking, Medieval, and Bohemia bibliographies current to a year or so ago, with comments on some of the books, can be found, along with some provided by other people, at Those lists are not limited to books I own. There are also some historical fiction writers who know what they're writing about listed further down the page.

My "neighborhood bookshop" is the public library, which orders ILL books for me 8-)
When I borrow one more than once, I go hunting my own copy via which can sometimes find really unlikely ones for me.

*footnote: There are probably over 3000 fantasy and science fiction books in the house, a collection going back to the 1950's, which I will NOT be cataloging. There are fewer mysteries, many of them historical mysteries, which I particularly enjoy but haven't been collecting nearly as long. I'm unlikely to add them to the catalog. There are some literary works, many related to past college courses, also unlikely to end up in the catalog except for the medieval ones like Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. I confess to being a major pack rat 8-)

GroupsI Survived the Great Vowel Shift, Kingdom of Northshield, Language, Medieval Europe, Stupor Mundi

Favorite authorsDorothy Dunnett, Kathy Lynn Emerson, Margaret Frazer, Alan Gordon, Cecelia Holland, Michael Jecks, Edward Marston, Sharan Newman, Sharon Kay Penman, Elizabeth Peters, Ellis Peters, Candace Robb, Kate Sedley, J. R. R. Tolkien, Peter Berresford Ellis, Walther von der Vogelweide (Shared favorites)


Membership LibraryThing Early Reviewers/Member Giveaway

Locationrural northwestern Wisconsin/near Rice Lake

Account typepublic, lifetime

URLs /profile/erilarlo (profile)
/catalog/erilarlo (library)

Member sinceSep 27, 2007

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I'd happily recommend some 3rd-5th century books if you want to increase that number!
I left you a message in reply to your question about the exhibition material to the Mannheim exposition.

Gregor Dijkhuis
Hi Erilar, it's Jack Flanders from Jararvellir (in case you didn't see my profile). Sorry if my friend invite seemed out of the blue, I didn't see a way to attach a note to it...

Ironically, I've only added my SF collection, mostly in an attempt to catalog my Asimov collection (I have a goal of getting as many of his works as possible...). I have a pretty wide selection of history works, broad if perhaps not too deep. (My collection got pretty thinned when I donated five boxes of books to the NS auction at WW one year...)

i quite like time-life books but guiltily. they must be cheesy mustn't they? not the information which is interesting but the time-life part.
I just dug out a few more books to add to my catalog. Note that there are two editions of Three Hearts and Three Lions. Also added Operation Chaos and A Midsummer Tempest. Almost all my recent adds are the bibliography for a round table discussion I intend to moderate, a la Brian Duffy, at the Saint Radegund's A&S Faire. The title is 'A Stop Along the Way' and the topic is that ubiquitous jumping-off place for D&D adventures, LARP sessions, and SCA personae -- the tavern. I am going to introduce the discussion of both historical and modern descriptions of tavern life and the literary use of the tavern as a framing device for tales within tales. Neil Gaiman does a tour-de-force of that in "The Sandman: Worlds' End." I will eventually post the text I am composing for the round table to the Gasthaus files section; if you would like to see the current work-in-progress draft, let me know. I _would_ appreciate another set of eyes reviewing it.
Hey, erilarlo--

I posted this elsewhere, but it's easy to miss so I hope you don't mind if I also p.m. you:

I have just arranged a new, worldwide availability of the Distant Cousin series. They are available from Smashwords ( in EIGHT different e-book formats. Several of the formats can even be printed, if you really want to. They're budget-priced, $4 each, which is a steal!

The listing is too new to have any reviews, but you can check Amazon for reviews if you like, or, get this: read 40% of the book for free. Talk about a new frontier!

I repeat the earlier caveat: these are light-hearted, recreational stories with something for almost everyone that are somewhat informed by reasonably accurate linguistics, OK?
You won't get this until you get back (unless you're online overseas) but have fun - see you in Michigan.
You gave a paper last year? I'm impressed. I had to laugh when I registered online - it wouldn't let me leave the "affiliation" field blank. I ended up putting Independent Scholar which is a laugh. Based on a recent Mediev-L thread I was tempted to put "History Geek" (or "Buff") but didn't.

Europe's in my plans - I'm trying to save enough to go to London in 2012 for the Olympics. I have a friend I can stay with and I can get there a few days ahead to do some castle tours. We'll see if I end up with the $$$ 3 years from now. I may end up having enough to get there but only be able to afford tickets to synchronized swimming or something. Another friend of mine goes to England every 3 years or so and rents motorcycles to get around but I guess my biking days are behind me.
Well, if you get tired of eating on campus one evening let me know since I'll be driving something. I'm hoping to have a new car by then - I need something that gets 30+ MPG. I thought I'd have it by now but then they started talking about "cash for clunkers." I have an old pickup I use around here for clearing brush, fixing fence, etc. I thought I'd drive until it died. I'll probably cry when I do, but if they'll give me a bunch of $$$, I'll part with it.

I just hope they decide if they'll give it soon. I'm not going to wait forever on that - I'm NOT going through the next round of $4 gas driving something that gets 15 mpg. I'd have bought something sooner but I just paid off my mortgage in December.

I have to head back to Indy on Friday though. I'm in charge of a tour of wind farms I couldn't get out of but I should be back by evening.
I broke down and reserved a dorm room - started weighing the internet access in a room vs the advantage of being able to go "home" for a few minutes during the day. It's not like I'd be spending hours on the 'net.

Didn't order the dorm meals though.
I don't drive Chicago either - I can grab the train in Lafayette and a round trip ticket only runs about $50.

I'll look you up when I get there. I'd give you my cell except I'm switching carriers - not sure the number will stay the same. One of the reasons for a hotel is internet - I'll have to check and see if the dorms have wi-fi we'll have access to.

I imagine I'll come back with about a thousand dollars worth of books - I got about $700 worth last time. I'll be a bit smarter though and keep a list and buy them all Sunday - love those last-day discounts.
Mary, you going to K'zoo this year? I'm planning on getting there for the first time since - well, this will only be my second time.

This year I finally just scheduled it and said "no" to anything else that came up. Well, except for one thing which is why I'll have to head back to Indiana on Friday, then back up. I think I've reached the age where I'm gonna skip the dorms though.

I wonder if you've read 'Heimskringla' by Snorri Sturluson?
I have NOT read the whole book, but maybe I should. I've got a Norwegian edition, just titled "Snorre".

Kjell, Northern Norway :)
I was reading some of your comments in the "I survived the Great Vowel Shift" group about your expertise on German dialects. I've been editing my grandmother's memoirs which touch on such. My ancestors on my father's side, who originated in the Friesland area of the Netherlands, spoke Low German, or Plattdeutsch. They were persecuted for their Mennonite religion so moved first to Prussia (now Gdansk region of Poland), then to the Ukraine during the reign of (originally Prussian) Catherine the Great. They lived in colonies othef the same Low German language/ethnic group and did not intermingle with the Russians. In 1923, my grandparents immigrated to the U.S. and were sponsored by Pennsylvanian Mennonites who spoke the Southern German/Swiss Palatinate "Pennsylvania Dutch" dialect. My grandmother wrote: "What I remember of our first American hosts is that we had much difficulty in understanding the Pennsylvania Dutch language. They were certain that we should understand this well-known language, but we had never heard it, and therefore just could not understand or much less speak it. They were very kind, sympathetic, and lovable, so we managed to communicate." So, just curious, in your experience, you would agree that these German dialects would not be mutually intelligible?
I've just finished reading about your Icelandic trip. We have a Teaching Company lecture series on the Vikings. Snorri Sturlason's Edda is quated quite frequently.
74.5? I'll be 76 tomorrow, but probably a lot less wiser.
By the time Al Franken is the certin new senator, from Lutheran country (e.g. Minnesota), maybe more common sense will sprout from that adjacent Scandinavian outpost.
Excellent. Thanks for your help. I'll take a look at those authors.

Well, Iam sure that the former senator, from Wisconsin (Joseph McCarthy) could find something subversive just about anywhwere he chose to look (including Rice Lake). Don't they have ice fishermen in Russia? Now, there might even be WMDs stashed away in Rice Lake.
Thanks for the suggestions. You have quite a nice collection. I'm still trying to grow my medieval library. I think I only have three books on castles at the present, the Medieval Fortress being the best one (though that's not saying much considering my lack of books on this topic). Wish I could read German, but unfortunately those don't do me much good :) If it were in Spanish, I'd be in better luck.

You mention that's it difficult to find a good historical fiction author. Are there any you would recommend that do a really nice job with the medieval period?

Hi! After seeing your "Korzybski, anyone??" comment in the "I survived the Great Vowel shift" group, I had to hop over here to see who would even know who Alfred Korzybski was. And, wow! you live near Rice Lake, Wisconsin. My own father was born in Rice Lake (circa 1879), his grandfather, part of the Norwegian Kjelland clan, had subsequently emigrated to Wisconsin. One of the sons changed the name to Jackson, married Anna Mortrude, from Lillehamer, and moved to the Norewegian colony, in Bosque County, Texas. I had to always remember Rice Lake, as my father's birth place, when I was getting security clearance during my Navy tenure and subsequent Federal Government career. I guess the FBI went up to Rice Lake (to see if there were any subversive elements there) and to make sure I wasn't making it up.
Yes, my wife and I have played the recorder for most of our lives. In the past ten years or so we've shifted towards earlier instruments (recorders don't seem to have been common until the 15th century) like harp, citole, shawm, vielle, and rebec.
Always nice to find others interested in medieval history. I found your profile through the Medieval Europe group. Any particular book you would recommend? What's your favorite non-fiction book on medieval history? I'm always looking for new books to add to my library. Thanks.

Runciman is a good read - I've got his Crusades and Fall of Constantinople books - have Sicilian Vespers too but haven't read it yet. Seems like some of the folks who wrote 30-40 years ago were more interesting than the recent ones. Edward Peters writes a very interesting book too and he's U-Penn. Cliff Rogers' Hundred Years War book's a pretty decent read too but most of what's written today is awful flat - mostly info-dumping.

Thanks for the suggestions on books. I may look for a couple over at the Purdue Library.
Hey Mary - I'm interested in reading up on Ottonian Germany. Do you have a suggestion for an overview? Is the best Reuter or is there something more current? I just started reading Thietmar and figure on getting Mommsen and the Swabian Chronicles in the near future. Might as well get something that tries to tie it together.

Thanks - happy New Year!

I've just finished a big push to get all of my books out of the boxes they've been in for the past year-and-a-half, and realized that all of my books together don't come up to 3000 SF/fantasy books alone! I don't blame you for not wanting to enter them all into LT. It's very impressive that they are alphabetized.

Anyway, now that I've finished all the boxes, I'll be entering the rest of my kids' books, but even with those, I don't think I'll go much over 2300 books total. My husband just told his sister he wants some books she's getting rid of, but I have no idea where we'll put them.

After I've pretty much finished messing with the books (I'll never really be done), I'll get back into sewing and quilting. My sewing machine hasn't even been turned on in almost two years!
I just looked through your books tagged "Medieval History." You have a great selection. My SCA persona is Anne Scott of Bucchleuch and I reside in Renaissance Scotland, during the reign of James V and the early years of Mary, Queen of Scot's (during the regency of her mother, Mary of Guise). Sometimes I cheat a little and become a Medieval Scottish women, because I have one Medieval gown and it's easier to put on than my Renaissance garb.

It's too bad you won't be cataloging your early science fiction and fantasy books. I'd love to peek at what you have. I've been fortunate in having recently moved. I've been cataloging all of my books as they come out of the boxes -- although it's going on two years now, and I'm still unpacking because the cataloging takes time. I also can't help but glance inside most of the books to reacquaint myself with them.
I live in the east of the Netherlands, close to the German border. So, not really close to the Amsterdam canals. But this is the blessing of a small country: short distances!
If yopu are at all like me, you have tons more to add. ;-) I despair of ever having time enough to catalogue it all. :-)
Wilson is my favorite library as well, and I'm lucky to still be close enough to it to ransack its shelves if I feel like it, for now.

My Hatto book was introduced to me by Kaaren Grimstad and Ray Wakefield in a joint seminar on the Volsunga Saga. Great class, even if it felt beyond me at the time. (A Graduate level class and here I was this little undergraduate. But Kaaren invited me, and I don't regret it.)
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