Sunday, July 23, 2006

Favourite reference books

I temporarily lost one of my favourite reference books. It wasn't on the chaotic shelves we reserve for our major reference books. The main problem is that there is not enough room on these shelves any more, so that some books are stacked on top of the rest. Bad news. Don't know what to do about it, except buy a bigger house ...

Anyway, I found it eventually, on a shelf across the way - the one I use for useful re-enactment texts. This book is useful for both archaeological and re-enactment purposes, but had got put in the latter category due to the lack of space on main shelves. At least I found it. And the name of the book? Dress in Anglo-Saxon England by Gale Owen-Crocker, 2004, Boydell & Brewer. All you might need, or want to know, about clothing from 4th century up to the 11th. It's the 2nd edition, being first published in the 1980s. It was difficult to find 2nd hand copies, so when the updated edition came out in 2004, there was a sigh of relief all round. But, another one, covering a similar subject is due out September: Cloth and Clothing in Early Anglo-Saxon England, AD450-700 by Penelope Rogers, 2006, CBA. Rogers is an expert in textile analysis and will be exploring this aspect in more depth than Owen-Crocker. Yes, I will have to get it :-)

Another useful text is: The Earliest English: living and dying in Early Anglo-Saxon England by Samantha Glasswell, 2002, Tempus. I found this book remaindered in a local bookshop, and was well worth the £6.00 or so I paid for it. Clothing and artefacts are well covered as one would expect from a Museum Registrar and re-enactor. A search on the Tempus website implies that it may not be in print now.

And another crucial reference book: Anglo-Saxon Weapons and Warfare by Richard Underwood, 1999, Tempus. Again, a great one-stop source; it does what it says on the cover.

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