20 July 2021

Notes from the publisher / Shipping Log

[Update July 28: no new orders are taken until after book presentation. Those who have already ordered but not yet (fully) paid can still finish their order. Please note: if you have not received a tracking link or invoice, please check your spam box.]

 Minor changes of service: 1) In earlier communications, it was suggested that parcels to non-EU destinations would be registered as gift, to avoid import tax. At later consideration, this was a mistake, as we cannot take the risk that customs would not agree. Therefore the actual value is registered. 2) Earlier I suggested that before shipping, all who had ordered would be informed and would have the chance to provide a possible change of address. This would be too much work. If your address has changed, please inform us or make use of a forwarding service. 3) Some people have asked me to write a personal message or signature in the book. This would slow down the shipping action and I am too scared to ruin the books. I do it in very rare occasions only.

I am being flooded with messages asking when the books will be sent. Answering all would delay distribution. Some delay is caused by increased customs bureaucracy and wrong packing materials having been delivered twice. I intended to handle the first edition myself and am learning by doing. Future editions may partly be printed in USA and elsewhere, in cooperation with more experienced publishing houses.

Delivery can still be expected end of July, perhaps early August for some.

SHIPPING LOG

If your parcel is sent registered or with tracking code, you receive a link by E-mail.

Wednesday, July 21 — USA: boxes (incl. a surplus) were shipped to Florida, from where the books will be sent to these states:

AK 2; AZ 2
CA 4+3+2+1+1+1+1+1 = 14
CO 5+1+1 = 7
FL 21+2+2+2+1 = 28
IA 1
ID 3+2+2+1 = 8
IL 2+1+1+1 = 5
LA 1; MD 1; ME 1; MI 1
MN 3+1 = 4
MO 2; MS 1; MT 2
NC 2+2+1+1+1+1 = 8
NH 1; NJ 4; NY 1; OH 1; OK 2
PA 2+2+1 = 5
TX 1; UT 1
VA 1+1 = 2
WA 10+2 = 12
WI 1; WV 1

July 21
July 24

Thursday, July 22 — parcels sent to:

Australia: VIC 1+1, NSW 1 = 3
Canada: AB 1+2, BC 1+1+1, ON 1+1+1, SK 1 = 10
Czech Republic: 2
Japan: 1
New Zealand: 2+1 = 3
Finland: 1+3 = 4
Norway: 1+1+1+2 = 5
Poland: 1
Romania: 1
Slovenia: 1+1 = 2
Switzerland: 1+2+3 = 6

Netherlands: 1 (birthday priority)

Friday, July 23 — All parcels for EU (not NL), UK and Jersey were packed and labels were prepared. One parcel could be sent already to:

Belgium: 9 (more to Belgium sent on Saturday)

Saturday, July 24 — parcels sent to:

United Kingdom: 10+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 = 22
Belgium: 4+2+1 = 7
(Friday 1 box with  9 books was sent)
France: 1+1+1+1 = 4
Germany: 4+4+2+1+1 = 12
Jersey: 1
Denmark: 1+1+1 = 3
Italy: 1
Sweden: 1

Sunday, July 25 — parcels sent to:

Netherlands: 6+4+3+(5x2)+(14x1) = 37 (more to come, several handed over personally)
South Africa: 1 (fastest so far; ordered and paid for today!)

Monday, July 26 — box and parcels sent to:

Friesland: 20+3+1 = 24
Iceland: 4

Tuesday, July 27 —After having stood in Cologne, Germany for five days (for unknown reasons), the boxes to USA are now being flown to Florida (confirmed by phone 9 a.m. Dutch time).

(shipping of books paid for after July 27 are no longer reported here; if sent with track & trace or registered service, an Email notification will be sent)

Wednesday evening July 28 (USA time): boxes were checked in at Jacksonville, FL — delivered Thursday July 29 on 11:54 a.m. (USA time)!

Friday July 30 — parcels within USA are sent with USPS Media mail, which may take 10 days to arrive, except the box with 10 books which will be UPS Priority and may take 3-5 days. Tracking links have been sent Monday Aug. 2.

10 July 2021

RÉK, MITH KRÛDON BIREKAD


Some cognates (meaning smoke, vapor):
reek - Frisian
rook - Dutch, Afrikaans
Rauch - German
røg - Danish
røyk - Norse
rök - Swedish
reykur - Icelandic
Raach - Luxembourgish
ryk - Old-Norse

When meaning bad smell:
reek - English
reuk - Dutch
Geruch - German

07 July 2021

Implausible hoax doctrine

    The most scholarly work published thus far about the Oera Linda-book was a dissertation by Goffe Jensma. (1) It presents a theory in which a triumvirate, backed by several co-conspirators, produced the manuscript in order to initially fool their intended audience and eventually, when their victims would have understood the prank, make a theological statement. A basic assumption of the study was that it had to be a 19th century fictional creation.

  1. De Gemaskerde God — François HaverSchmidt en het Oera Linda-boek ('The Masked God'), 2004, defended at the Faculty of Theology at Groningen University. It has an English summary, accessible at www.academia.edu/619642.
Goffe Jensma
De Gemaskerde God (2004) dissertation by Jensma
Dutch translation (2006) by Jensma

    The three creators would have been pastor and poet Haverschmidt (1835-1894), his friend the librarian and linguist Verwijs (1830-1880), and royal navy shipyard superintendent Over de Linden (1811-1874). While the first two were known to have been college friends, Haverschmidt would have had to get to know Over de Linden well enough in the 1.5 year (December 1862 to July 1864) that he was one of three pastors at the Den Helder parish of 9,300 members. Over de Linden was known to not be a church-goer, he was a generation older than the pastor, was (grand)father and remarried as a widower in May 1863. The 28 year old Haverschmidt got married in August 1863 and would one year later become father. Both will have had other things on their mind — not least of all to work for a living — than concocting a highly advanced (and potentially dangerous) mystification.

Haverschmidt (1835-1894)
Verwijs (1830-1880)
Over de Linden (1811-1874)

    After the two supposedly would have gotten acquainted, they would have had to mostly work together with Verwijs through mail, as the pastor moved to Schiedam in 1864 and the linguist lived in Leeuwarden, hours of travel separating the three of them.

    However, most implausible of all circumstances was that the intelligent and talented Verwijs would have risked not only losing his career, but also being criminally prosecuted. After all, having examined the manuscript in 1867, he initially concluded that it was "irrefutably authentic" and "an ancestral manuscript, copied many times", (1) asking the Frisian Provincial Executive permission to negotiate a purchase from the owner as well as funds to have it copied and translated. (2)

  1. Letters Verwijs to Over de Linden, October 13 and 19, 1867.
  2. 'Gedeputeerde Staten', the executive branch of government of a province in the Netherlands.

    If the manuscript would have been intended to be obviously fake at second consideration, as Jensma theorized, Verwijs' request would have been unforgivable, if he would have been complicit. And even if the three creators would have agreed to keep their teamwork a secret, would Verwijs have had reason to trust especially Over de Linden, whom he could hardly have gotten to know well and who, like he, was known to be a drinker and thus could easily have talked past his mouth?

    What if King William III would have insisted to see the manuscript and what if he would have taken offense at the anti-monarchist sentiments expressed in the work? If it had been a joke, it was a very dangerous one. As it was later stated: "Some see [it] as the deceptive masterpiece of dark powers, created with the apparent goal of undermining the foundations of church and society." (1)
  1. Dr. M. de Jong in his foreword of Het Geheim van het Oera-Linda-Boek (The Secret of the OLB), 1927.
King William (1817-1890)
    In a publication about Germanic words for woman, (1) Verwijs suggested that the name of the town Vronen was derived from the Old-Frisian word FRÁN (Dutch vroom; sacred, pious), while in Oera Linda the original form FOR.ÁNA (Dutch voor-aan; in front) is suggested. He published much more about etymology. If he really created the Fryas language, it should be possible to identify his signature. However, in the meticulous studies that tried to prove him guilty, such evidence was never found.
  1. De namen der vrouw bij den Germaan, 1863.
Verwijs (1863)

    Jensma's three suspects all had a life. They were not hermits with unlimited time or resources. Even if they would have had the time and skills to create it, as well as the courage to possibly enrage the establishment, would they have taken the risk that the manuscript remained unnoticed? If Ottema had not translated and published it, hardly anyone would have known it ever existed. Would none of them have wanted any credit for it, if only posthumously?

    Before theorizing about possible modern creators, it should first be compellingly proven that it cannot possibly be a 13th century copy, or a copy thereof. If it would be a 19th century fantasy, loosely based on a selection of sources, this should have become ever more evident in the last 150 years, but the opposite is the case.

03 July 2021

Frisian Antiquities (1875) — English translation

In 1938, the manuscript known as The Oera Linda-book was given to the province Friesland by custodian and owner Cornelis Over de Linden, the fourth of that name, who was confident that "through Science the Truth will triumph over the mystery surrounding this manuscript".

One year prior to the handover, in 1937, there had been attempts to set up a fund for publication of a facsimile edition of the manuscript, perhaps followed by various translations and new research. The then owner Cornelis Over de Linden was one of the initiators and a willing investor. Collaboration was sought with the Frisian Society for History, Archaeology and Language. (1) The provincial librarian, historian, theologian and member of the Frisian Society, Geert A. Wumkes supported the initiative, (2) writing:

"It is less significant to me who wrote the Oera Linda-book. What matters is its inherent, spiritual value, as a testimony to the Westfrisian love of freedom at a time when the national character was threatened with utter destruction. Both its moral and literary quality, as well as the spirituality it expresses, I consider more relevant than authenticity and historical facts." (3)

However, four months later, in a reply of two sentences, the president of the Frisian Society, baron Pieter A.V. van Harinxma thoe Slooten, who was also the Queen’s commissioner for the province Friesland, informed the initiators that the Society refused to give any support, financially or morally. (4)
Wumkes had not been the only respectable advocate of Oera Linda's value, but he was one of the last who dared to openly praise it. The first and foremost had been Dr. Ottema, whose introduction to his first edition of 1872 was translated by William Sandbach in the 1876 English edition. This introduction will be known to most readers and remain accessible. A less well known introduction to Oera Linda, and perhaps a more notable one, for it was published by the same Frisian Society that would later so disdainfully reject it, is translated below.

  1. Friesch Genootschap van Geschied-, Oudheid- en Taalkunde; cooperation with the Westfries Genootschap (North Holland) was also intended.
  2. It was thanks to the efforts of Wumkes that Over de Linden would hand over the manuscript to the library in 1938. Wumkes is most well known for his Frisian translation of the complete Bible, published in 1943.
  3. Letter Wumkes to Molenaar, dated March 22, 1937.
  4. Letter Harinxma to Molenaar, dated July 17, 1937.


Frisian Antiquities (1)

The Over de Linden family in Den Helder is in possession of an old manuscript, of which script, language and content were unknown. It had been passed on from generation to generation, with the advice to preserve it with care, as a family-treasure. They guessed it was written in Old-Frisian and suspected it might contain information about ancient ancestors.

When Dr. Eelco Verwijs, archivist-librarian of Friesland, heard about this, he informed the Dutch government, that commissioned him to examine it. On December 17, 1867, he reported his first conclusions and that the owner had given him permission to copy and translate the manuscript. [...]

Thanks to the persevering zeal and care of Dr. J.G. Ottema, the content was understood and translated. In detail he reported the results of his examination in a meeting of the Frisian Society on February 10, 1871. This report was printed and distributed, leading to a great public interest in this curious document.

In Ottema's opinion, the doubts that had risen about the manuscript's authenticity had no grounds. He saw it as a most important source of old Frisian history, revealing relevant new information. As he concluded: "We may thus accept that this manuscript, of which the oldest part was composed in the sixth century before our era, contains the oldest product (after Homer and Hesiod) of European literature. It describes an ancient people in our fatherland, thus far unknown, with a development, civilization, industry, navigation, trade, literature and pure, sublime religious values. In our imagination, our history did not reach beyond the arrival of Friso [c. 300 BC], the supposed Frisian founding father. Here however we discover a history beyond 2000 BC, surpassing the antiquity of Greece and equaling that of Israel."

The manuscript is a copy from 1256, (2) made by Hidde Oera Linda. In all debates about its authenticity and value, it was impossible to have a well-founded judgment, until the printed version was published in 1872. [...]

After publication, the book that was remarkable from any point of view remained a source of conflict and both sides of the debate sought to defend their belief. In 1973, Dr. Ottema explained the content in a brochure, titled Historical Notes and Clarifications to the Oera Linda-book, (3) and defended it a year later in The Royal Academy and the Oera Linda-book. (4) Dr. A.T. Reitsma from Groningen studied it and presented the results of his research in three meetings of the Frisian Society. (5) He concluded that the work has both internal and external marks of authenticity, and gave examples of its high historic value. In the last of these meetings the opponents also had the opportunity to raise their concerns. The manuscript itself was also displayed at that occasion, so the possible authenticity as 13th century copy could be judged.

The most extensive research thus far was reported in the Deventer newspaper in 1874 and later published separately, titled In response to the Oera Linda Book. (6) It is obvious that the author was someone knowledgeable and unprejudiced. His answer to the thought that the book would be a forgery, made after 1853, when the stilt-houses in lake Zürich were discovered, is: "Who then would be the author? Not just anyone would be capable of such a thing. Accurate knowledge would have been needed for that of the oldest Frisian language, of which a very limited vocabulary from only a few sources is available. Moreover, knowledge of how that language changed in the course of time. For remarkable differences can be noticed between the linguistic varieties used by the first and last composers of the manuscript. The forger would also have needed exceptional historic and geographic knowledge. It could not have been done without many years of preparatory studies. Writing the odd script would have been a drudgery. And what would all those efforts have been good for? Honor? — But forgers have good reasons to keep their name a secret. Money? — That publication would hardly cover printing costs could have been known beforehand. The pleasure of fooling scholars? — Would a very well-educated and talented man, as the assumed creator must have been, sacrifice so much time and effort in order to gain such questionable delight? None of all that is plausible.

"We thus face an odd dilemma: Either we allow ourselves to be fooled by the creation of a highly devoted, mad genius — or a great deal of old history is placed in such light, that a revolution in this field will become inevitable.

"You might then suppose it was the product of a bored monastic? This cannot be the case either. As we intend to explain, the Oera Linda-book teaches ethics and an understanding of God that are so ultimately true and pure, so unmonkish and untheologic, that someone, raised under the influence of Catholic or even Protestant dogmas, could impossibly have expressed such true free-thinking and entirely unbiased feelings."

And yet this scholar had to conclude: "Although nothing goes against the physical possibility; although we discovered nothing that convinces of a forgery, — still there is something suspicious about the parts that deal with Greek-Roman antiquity. We have no doubts about the honesty and frankness of the gentlemen Over de Linden and Dr. Ottema. If any element is forged, they were not involved — we are wholeheartedly convinced of that. We have suspicion, but it is not serious enough to outright reject the Oera Linda-book."

All things considered, we may call this book remarkable. As long as it will remain difficult, to distinguish myth, legend or embellished tradition in the earliest history of any nation, the Oera Linda-book — considered by some as a glorification of the Frisian race — will remain an object of meticulous research. Still, anyone who has read the book will have to admit, that the work contains inner marks of great value. Therefore we readily agree with the following statement by the Deventer scholar: "Although I have come to love the book with all my heart, I look forward to the results of scientific examination without concern. Because, even if it would be convincingly refuted on historic grounds, the book would still keep its great ethical value as an allegory or as fiction."

  1. Translated from the Dutch original (link to PDF). Full title: Friesche Oudheden — Afbeeldingen van Merkwaardige Voorwerpen van Wetenschap en Kunst, gevonden in de Archieven, Kerken, Kasteelen, Terpen enz. van Friesland (Frisian Antiquities — Depictions of remarkable objects of science and art, found in the archives, churches, castles, terps etc. of Friesland), published by the Friesch Genootschap (1875), p. 48-50 Het schrift van het Oera Linda-Bok, with a depiction of page 45 of the manuscript.
  2. The 1256th year should have been read as the year 1255.
  3. Original Dutch title: Geschiedkundige aanteekeningen en ophelderingen bij Thet Oera Linda Bok. A revised and more extensive edition was published with the same title in 1878.
  4. Original Dutch title: De Koninklijke Akademie en het Oera Linda Boek.
  5. Dr. Anne T. Reitsma was theologian, pastor and one of the founders in 1838 of the Frisian Theologian Society, which he gave its motto: Truth in Freedom.
  6. Full title: Naar aanleiding van Thet Oera Linda Bok — Historische schetsen met enige in- en uitvallen (1874), translated in German as Historische Skizzen auf Grundlage von Thet Oera Linda Bok (1875); although it was published anonymously, it was clear that the author was prof. Annes J. Vitringa, school director and author of articles and books, most significantly Darwinia (1876) about a monstrous world as he believed it would look like if Darwin's teachings were truly applied.