Arts Reviews Archive

  • <p><em>La Canne Royale</em>, my translation into English of two French cane training manuals, has hit the virtual bookshelves and is available for purchase. If you are interested in the history of stick fighting or the early development of modern physical education, this is the book for you.</p>
<p>Check out the book’s page on the LongEdge Press website to find which online bookstores are carrying <em>La Canne Royale.</em></p>
<p>Here’s the blurb from the back of the book to whet your appetite.</p>
<hr />
<div id="attachment_1958" style="width: 209px" class="wp-caption alignright"><p class="wp-caption-text">La Canne Royale : Chris Slee : LongEdge Press</p></div>
<blockquote><p>La Canne holds a unique position in the development of </p></blockquote> […]

    La Canne Royale: Where do I buy it?

    La Canne Royale, my translation into English of two French cane training manuals, has hit the virtual bookshelves and is available for purchase. If you are interested in the history of stick fighting or the early development of modern physical education, this is the book for you.

    Check out the book’s page on the LongEdge Press website to find which online bookstores are carrying La Canne Royale.

    Here’s the blurb from the back of the book to whet your appetite.


    La Canne Royale : Chris Slee : LongEdge Press

    La Canne holds a unique position in the development of

    […]
  • <p><div id="attachment_1955" style="width: 194px" class="wp-caption alignright"><p class="wp-caption-text"><em>Histoire prodigieuse du fantôme cavalier solliciteur</em></p></div>Here’s an interesting little piece titled “The Strange Story of the Solicitous Phantom Cavalier who Fought a Duel on 27 January 1615 near Paris“<sup id="footnote_plugin_tooltip_9144_1" class="footnote_plugin_tooltip_text" onclick="footnote_moveToAnchor('footnote_plugin_reference_9144_1');">[1]</sup><span class="footnote_tooltip" id="footnote_plugin_tooltip_text_9144_1">Original title : <em>Histoire prodigieuse du fantôme cavalier solliciteur,</em> <em>qui s’est battu en duel le 27 janvier 1615, près Paris</em></span>	jQuery("#footnote_plugin_tooltip_9144_1").tooltip({		tip: "#footnote_plugin_tooltip_text_9144_1",		tipClass: "footnote_tooltip",		effect: "fade",		fadeOutSpeed: 100,		predelay: 400,		position: "top right",		relative: true,		offset: [10, 10]	}); (PDF). It fits firmly in attempts in Europe to ban duelling which, despite the heavy-hitters, both organisations and individual, engaged in the struggle failed to achieve this end until  […]</p>

    A Duel with a Phantom Cavalier (1615)

    Histoire prodigieuse du fantôme cavalier solliciteur

    Here’s an interesting little piece titled “The Strange Story of the Solicitous Phantom Cavalier who Fought a Duel on 27 January 1615 near Paris“[1]Original title : Histoire prodigieuse du fantôme cavalier solliciteur, qui s’est battu en duel le 27 janvier 1615, près Paris jQuery("#footnote_plugin_tooltip_9258_1").tooltip({ tip: "#footnote_plugin_tooltip_text_9258_1", tipClass: "footnote_tooltip", effect: "fade", fadeOutSpeed: 100, predelay: 400, position: "top right", relative: true, offset: [10, 10] }); (PDF). It fits firmly in attempts in Europe to ban duelling which, despite the heavy-hitters, both organisations and individual, engaged in the struggle failed to achieve this end until […]

  • <p>There’s two famous members of the Sainct-Didier clan. The most well known is Henry de Sainct Didier, the author of the fencing manual I’ve translated. The second, earlier one is Guillaume de Sainct Didier, a twelfth century Provençal poet.</p>
<p>Here are the relevant entries from the catalog of Count of La Croix du Maine’s library, published in 1584. The full title of the book is <span style="text-decoration: underline;">The First Volume of the Library of the Lord La Croix Du Maine, which is a general catalog of all types of authors who have written in French for the last five hundred years and </span> […]</p>

    Snippets of Sainct-Didier

    There’s two famous members of the Sainct-Didier clan. The most well known is Henry de Sainct Didier, the author of the fencing manual I’ve translated. The second, earlier one is Guillaume de Sainct Didier, a twelfth century Provençal poet.

    Here are the relevant entries from the catalog of Count of La Croix du Maine’s library, published in 1584. The full title of the book is The First Volume of the Library of the Lord La Croix Du Maine, which is a general catalog of all types of authors who have written in French for the last five hundred years and […]

  • <p><strong>Title</strong>: Fencing through the Ages<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Adolphe Corthey<br />
<strong>Translator</strong>: Chris Slee<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: LongEdge Press<br />
<strong>Pub. Date</strong>: 2015<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: English (original in French)<br />
<strong>Pages</strong>: 76<br />
<strong>Format(s)</strong>: US Digest, EPUB, MOBI<br />
<strong>ISBN</strong>: (Paperback) 9780994359001, (eBook) 9780994359018</p>
Selling Paperback and eBook
<ul>
<li>Lulu Bookstore [paperback link, ebook link]</li>
<li>Amazon</li>
<li>Barnes and Noble</li>
<li>AbeBooks</li>
</ul>
Selling Paperback Only
<ul>
<li>Angus and Robertson</li>
<li>Fishpond Bookstore</li>
</ul>
Selling eBook Only
<ul>
<li>Kobo Bookstore</li>
</ul>
The Back of the Book
<p>Adolphe Corthey is the powerhouse behind the revival of interest in historical or period fencing in late nineteenth century France yet he remains largely  […]</p>

    Fencing through the Ages: Where do I buy it?

    Title: Fencing through the Ages
    Author: Adolphe Corthey
    Translator: Chris Slee
    Publisher: LongEdge Press
    Pub. Date: 2015
    Language: English (original in French)
    Pages: 76
    Format(s): US Digest, EPUB, MOBI
    ISBN: (Paperback) 9780994359001, (eBook) 9780994359018

    Selling Paperback and eBook
    • Lulu Bookstore [paperback link, ebook link]
    • Amazon
    • Barnes and Noble
    • AbeBooks
    Selling Paperback Only
    • Angus and Robertson
    • Fishpond Bookstore
    Selling eBook Only
    • Kobo Bookstore
    The Back of the Book

    Adolphe Corthey is the powerhouse behind the revival of interest in historical or period fencing in late nineteenth century France yet he remains largely […]

  • <p>Here’s my modern English translation of Henry de Sainct-Didier’s 1573 sidesword/rapier treatise <em>Secrets of the Sword Alone</em>. This is a straight translation. I’ve not attempted to interpret the text as it’s really not required.</p>
<p>It’s 154 pages long including  an introduction and 34 pages of Sainct Didier’s images.</p>
<p>The print version is currently available from these stores.</p>
<ul>
<li>Lulu</li>
<li>Book Depository</li>
<li>Amazon</li>
<li>Barnes and Noble</li>
<li>AbeBooks</li>
<li>Foyles</li>
<li>Adlibris</li>
</ul>
<p>The eBook can be ordered today from these stores:</p>
<ul>
<li>Barnes and Noble</li>
<li>Apple iBookstore</li>
<li>Kobo</li>
<li>Amazon (Kindle)</li>
<li>Bookworld</li>
<li>Angus & Robertson</li>
<li>Scribd</li>
<li>Blio</li>
<li>BookBaby</li>
</ul>
<p>The back of the book says:</p>
<p><em><span style="color: #000000;">A modern </span></em> […]</p>

    Secrets of the Sword Alone: Where do I buy it?

    Here’s my modern English translation of Henry de Sainct-Didier’s 1573 sidesword/rapier treatise Secrets of the Sword Alone. This is a straight translation. I’ve not attempted to interpret the text as it’s really not required.

    It’s 154 pages long including  an introduction and 34 pages of Sainct Didier’s images.

    The print version is currently available from these stores.

    • Lulu
    • Book Depository
    • Amazon
    • Barnes and Noble
    • AbeBooks
    • Foyles
    • Adlibris

    The eBook can be ordered today from these stores:

    • Barnes and Noble
    • Apple iBookstore
    • Kobo
    • Amazon (Kindle)
    • Bookworld
    • Angus & Robertson
    • Scribd
    • Blio
    • BookBaby

    The back of the book says:

    A modern […]

  • <p>Continuing my delving into medieval Italian literature, I came across this gem. <em>Il Novellino</em> is a collection of short anecdotes and popular stories written around 1250-1300. Most (semi-?)educated people of the time knew these tales and would recognise them if heard told. Many are familiar to us as forming the basis of the stories of Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, etc. As there’s no easily obtainable copy of this public domain text, I’ve formatted the text into ePub and PDF formats.</p>
<p><em>Il Novellino</em> is one of the first works extant in the developing Italian language. Latin at this time is slowing losing  […]</p>

    Il Novellino: The Hundred Old Tales

    Continuing my delving into medieval Italian literature, I came across this gem. Il Novellino is a collection of short anecdotes and popular stories written around 1250-1300. Most (semi-?)educated people of the time knew these tales and would recognise them if heard told. Many are familiar to us as forming the basis of the stories of Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, etc. As there’s no easily obtainable copy of this public domain text, I’ve formatted the text into ePub and PDF formats.

    Il Novellino is one of the first works extant in the developing Italian language. Latin at this time is slowing losing […]

  • <div id="attachment_941" style="width: 212px" class="wp-caption alignright"><p class="wp-caption-text">Linda M Paterson – The World of the Troubadours</p></div>
<p><strong>Title</strong>: The World of the Troubadours: Medieval Occitan Society, c.1100-c.1300<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Linda M Paterson<br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 384 pages<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: Cambridge University Press, 1995<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: English</p>
<p>This is a book of lists which concentrates on the topics of:</p>
<ul>
<li>the nature of feudalism and vassalage in Languedoc and Provence</li>
<li>medieval medicine and surgery and their Arabic influences</li>
<li>the place and role of women in society which contrasts sharply to the north of France</li>
<li>religion and heresy, especially the reasonably well-known Albigensian Crusade and the Gregorian Reforms</li>
</ul>
<p>Scholarship in English  […]</p>

    The World of the Troubadours

    Linda M Paterson – The World of the Troubadours

    Title: The World of the Troubadours: Medieval Occitan Society, c.1100-c.1300
    Author: Linda M Paterson
    Paperback: 384 pages
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 1995
    Language: English

    This is a book of lists which concentrates on the topics of:

    • the nature of feudalism and vassalage in Languedoc and Provence
    • medieval medicine and surgery and their Arabic influences
    • the place and role of women in society which contrasts sharply to the north of France
    • religion and heresy, especially the reasonably well-known Albigensian Crusade and the Gregorian Reforms

    Scholarship in English […]

  • <p><strong>Title</strong>: A Canticle for Leibowitz<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Walter M Miller, Jr <br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 368 pages</p>
<p>A wholly remarkable book but not for the reasons usually trotted out by its fans:</p>
<ul>
<li>it is not about Catholicism or the benefits bestowed by religion,</li>
<li>it is not about trite clichés such as ‘those who do not listen to history are doomed to repeat it’ or ‘with great power comes great responsibility’,</li>
<li>it is not about power of faith in the face of destruction.</li>
</ul>
<p>The novel outlines a thesis which describes humanity as fundamentally and irredeemably broken. Humanity, after global nuclear war brought  […]</p>

    Review: A Canticle for Leibowitz

    Title: A Canticle for Leibowitz
    Author: Walter M Miller, Jr 
    Paperback: 368 pages

    A wholly remarkable book but not for the reasons usually trotted out by its fans:

    • it is not about Catholicism or the benefits bestowed by religion,
    • it is not about trite clichés such as ‘those who do not listen to history are doomed to repeat it’ or ‘with great power comes great responsibility’,
    • it is not about power of faith in the face of destruction.

    The novel outlines a thesis which describes humanity as fundamentally and irredeemably broken. Humanity, after global nuclear war brought […]

  • <p></p>
<p>Imagine this. It’s sometime early in the ninth century and you’re a scribe. Louis the Pious, King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor, has just given you the task of making a copy of the bible in Old Saxon to convert to Christianity the pagan tribes on the other side of the River Elbe. How do you translate the Gospel’s message of peace and salvation in terms those battle-loving barbarians will understand?</p>
<p>One answer is the Heliand, a wacky paraphrase rather than translation of the Gospel in the form of a Norse or Germanic saga written around AD 825.  […]</p>

    The Schwarzeneggar Bible

    Imagine this. It’s sometime early in the ninth century and you’re a scribe. Louis the Pious, King of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor, has just given you the task of making a copy of the bible in Old Saxon to convert to Christianity the pagan tribes on the other side of the River Elbe. How do you translate the Gospel’s message of peace and salvation in terms those battle-loving barbarians will understand?

    One answer is the Heliand, a wacky paraphrase rather than translation of the Gospel in the form of a Norse or Germanic saga written around AD 825. […]

  • <p>I saw a great French coming-of-age movie called MaRock over the weekend. It’s the story of a teenage Moroccan Arab girl who falls deeply in love with a Jewish boy and although it was billed as a Romeo and Juliet story it really isn’t.</p>
<p>It has plenty to recommend it as a version of the classic star-crossed lovers: Jews versus Arabs, street car racing through Casablanca instead of public duelling, a radicalised Muslim brother who would make a very good Tybalt, nightclubs, a guy whose homosexuality is an open secret who makes a perfect Friar Lawrence and post-sundown family feasting  […]</p>

    MaRock the Casbah

    I saw a great French coming-of-age movie called MaRock over the weekend. It’s the story of a teenage Moroccan Arab girl who falls deeply in love with a Jewish boy and although it was billed as a Romeo and Juliet story it really isn’t.

    It has plenty to recommend it as a version of the classic star-crossed lovers: Jews versus Arabs, street car racing through Casablanca instead of public duelling, a radicalised Muslim brother who would make a very good Tybalt, nightclubs, a guy whose homosexuality is an open secret who makes a perfect Friar Lawrence and post-sundown family feasting […]

  • <p>The Odyssey of Homer is fascinating in a number of aspects. The plot is remarkably modern in outline, pacing and development and the insight into the domestic life of (pre-) Dark Age Greece cannot be underestimated. Yet for all this I didn’t like the book and was glad to be finished and rid of it. Where the Iliad is grand in scope and deals with characters struggling with ethical and social conflicts, the Odyssey forces heroic characters to wallow in the tedious and the mundane.</p>
<p>I guess we need a couple of paragraphs to get my reaction to the story  […]</p>

    Review: Homer’s Odyssey

    The Odyssey of Homer is fascinating in a number of aspects. The plot is remarkably modern in outline, pacing and development and the insight into the domestic life of (pre-) Dark Age Greece cannot be underestimated. Yet for all this I didn’t like the book and was glad to be finished and rid of it. Where the Iliad is grand in scope and deals with characters struggling with ethical and social conflicts, the Odyssey forces heroic characters to wallow in the tedious and the mundane.

    I guess we need a couple of paragraphs to get my reaction to the story […]

  • <p><strong>Title</strong>: The Trial of the Templars<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Malcolm Barber<br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 408 pages<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: Cambridge University Press, 1978 (Second edition 2006)<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: English</p>
<p>Although the Trial of the Templars is now more than thirty years old, it is still the best study of the period written in English. This is a period, a long with the Crusade against the Cathars, which is well known and studied in French but for which very little English material of any quality exists.</p>
<p>In this book, Barber has presented documentary and other first hand evidence of the arrest, trial and  […]</p>

    Review: The Trial of the Templars

    Title: The Trial of the Templars
    Author: Malcolm Barber
    Paperback: 408 pages
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 1978 (Second edition 2006)
    Language: English

    Although the Trial of the Templars is now more than thirty years old, it is still the best study of the period written in English. This is a period, a long with the Crusade against the Cathars, which is well known and studied in French but for which very little English material of any quality exists.

    In this book, Barber has presented documentary and other first hand evidence of the arrest, trial and […]

  • <p><strong></strong></p>
<p><strong>Title</strong>: The Hound of the Baskervilles<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle<br />
<strong>Hardcover</strong>: 240 pages<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: Penguin Classics (2010)<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: The finest English</p>
<p>A great novel or the Greatest Novel?</p>
<p>So far this year, I’ve read the book again, listened to an audio dramatisation and watched a couple of versions on video. This book hits all my buttons. It’s got a murder, hints of the supernatural, the relentless march of scientific logic and is possibly the best Scooby Doo mystery ever.</p>
<p>Here is a quick list of the aspects of it which tickle my fancy. Below  […]</p>

    The Hound of the Baskervilles

    Title: The Hound of the Baskervilles
    Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    Hardcover: 240 pages
    Publisher: Penguin Classics (2010)
    Language: The finest English

    A great novel or the Greatest Novel?

    So far this year, I’ve read the book again, listened to an audio dramatisation and watched a couple of versions on video. This book hits all my buttons. It’s got a murder, hints of the supernatural, the relentless march of scientific logic and is possibly the best Scooby Doo mystery ever.

    Here is a quick list of the aspects of it which tickle my fancy. Below […]

  • <p>We’ve all read The Iliad, right? If you haven’t, you should. It’s the first piece of western literature and sets the shape and style of pretty much everything which has been written since. At a little under 3,000 years old, this is something of an achievement. I’ve just re-read it as part of the Literature of Western Myth reading list I posted a couple of weeks ago.</p>
<p>Here’s a brief guide on how to read The Iliad, keeping the essentials of the story and cutting out lots of the waffle. While I love the book, it’s long (waaaay to long)  […]</p>

    How To Read The Iliad

    We’ve all read The Iliad, right? If you haven’t, you should. It’s the first piece of western literature and sets the shape and style of pretty much everything which has been written since. At a little under 3,000 years old, this is something of an achievement. I’ve just re-read it as part of the Literature of Western Myth reading list I posted a couple of weeks ago.

    Here’s a brief guide on how to read The Iliad, keeping the essentials of the story and cutting out lots of the waffle. While I love the book, it’s long (waaaay to long) […]

  • <p>I’ve embarked on another reading list. This one is concerned with the mythological bases of western literature from the Iliad, the first book in the western tradition, through to the core myths of Rome<sup>1</sup>. Over the next few weeks, I’ll post book reviews and other assorted notes on my progress through the list.</p>
<p>The influence these stories have had on the development of western literature is undeniable. The great medieval and renaissance authors such as Chaucer, Dante, Petrach, Shakespeare, Marlow, Moliere make obvious references to these stories throughout their works – so much so that these stories may  […]</p>

    Literature of Western Myth

    I’ve embarked on another reading list. This one is concerned with the mythological bases of western literature from the Iliad, the first book in the western tradition, through to the core myths of Rome1. Over the next few weeks, I’ll post book reviews and other assorted notes on my progress through the list.

    The influence these stories have had on the development of western literature is undeniable. The great medieval and renaissance authors such as Chaucer, Dante, Petrach, Shakespeare, Marlow, Moliere make obvious references to these stories throughout their works – so much so that these stories may […]