The Gnome Manuscript

Part One: Origins, Habit and Culture

In 2000, the mysterious Dutch ‘Richel-Eldermans collection’ was donated to The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle where, in 2003, a Dutch speaking student assisted in deciphering some of the written materials in the collection. It was during this process that the student discovered a fascinating manuscript concerned with Dutch gnome-folklore, and alerted the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam who were happy to receive a copy of the ‘Gnome Manuscript’, as it became known, on CD-Rom.

Another Dutch student subsequently graduated on a study of this manuscript, but still there were too many questions and mysteries concerning the information J.H.W. Eldermans collected throughout his life. The staff of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic were most interested in the contents of this manuscript, and so a decision was made to publish a series of books that present translations of the intriguing handwritten content, with comments on the origins of the manuscript and studies of the places described therein. The information was categorized and this first part as ‘Origins, Habit and Culture’ and focuses on where the gnomes came from, what they were doing and what they expressed. The second part will look deeper into the magic concerning gnomes, and the third part will deal with leftover writings by Eldermans.

Wilmar Taal is a Dutch cultural historian and author of ‘The Silent Listener – The Life and Works of J.H.W. Eldermans’ (Troy Books, 2018). He specializes in sagas, myths and the occult sciences. He lives in Koog aan de Zaan, The Netherlands, together with his wife, son and daughter and a spoilt rotten cat.

Wilmar Taal talks about ‘The Gnome Manuscript’

Available in the following editions:

Paperback Edition: Gloss laminate cover.

Standard Hardback Edition: a Oatmeal case binding with gold foil blocking to cover & spine, 90gsm cream paper stock, brown endpapers, with black and tail bands.

Special Edition: a limited edition of 100 hand-numbered examples, bound in a brown cloth binding, with gold foil blocking to the front and spine, 90gsm white cream stock, black endpapers, with black head and tail bands.

Size: All editions are Royal format 234 x 156mm.

Pagination: 318 pages extensively illustrated with drawings by JHW Eldermans from the original Gnome Manuscript and photographs by the author.


Chapter One: “Views on Gnomes in the Netherlands”
– Children’s Songs and Fairy Tales
– Garden Gnomes and other ‘Filthy Whistlers’
– Parody and Comic books
– The Gnome Research of Henriëtte Gorter
– Annie Gerding- Le Comte
– The Gnome by Poortvliet and Huygen
– Gnome Folklore

Chapter Two: “J.H.W. Eldermans and his Gnome Research”
– A Letter to Mrs. Gerding
– The Book on Eldermans by Henriëtte Gorter
– Gnomes and Hobbits
– The Gnome Manuscript: A Physical Description
– Eldermans and his Folkloric Endeavours

Chapter Three: “Gnome Origins”

Chapter Four: “Species of The Little People”

Chapter Five: “Physiology and Appearance of Gnomes”

Chapter Six: “Behaviour of The Gnomes”

Chapter Seven: “Gnome Culture”

Chapter Eight: “Eating Habits”

Chapter Nine: “Reading and Writing”

Chapter Ten: “Clothing and Shoes”

Chapter Eleven: “Tools”

Chapter Twelve: “Locations”

Chapter Thirteen: “Gnome Migration”

A Final Word



Consulted Archives and Libraries

Consulted Websites

Paperback Edition

£17.50 plus shipping

For shipping information click here

Standard Hardback Edition

£29.00 plus shipping

For shipping information click here

Special Edition

Sold out

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.