We all know Alfred Hutton and Egerton Castle as the leading lights in the late 19th century British fencing world. Less commonly known is that there was similar interest in the history of fencing in France.
Enter Adolphe Corthey.
Corthey was a prominent member of all the leading fencing schools in Paris, championed the introduction of the sabre into the sport fencing arena, advised on the form of the bayonet for the military and wrote a number of short books on the history of the fencing and the sword.
He was formed from same mould as Hutton and Castle and deserves to be placed on the same pedestal as them.
The book includes a translation of two of Corthey’s most influential texts: Fencing through the Ages (1892), a history of the development of fencing as a discipline and the development of the native French fencing tradition, and On the Subject of the Transformation of the Combat Sword (1895), a short dissertation on bringing tradition-fixed duelling swords up to date.
Bundled together in this volume are several press reports on popular public demonstrations of period fencing techniques based on Corthey’s history of the art and a brief biography of the man from a contemporary who’s who.
The book will appeal to all interested in the history of fencing and 19th century attitudes to sport and to the past.
Fencing through the Ages,
Ad. Corthey (translated Chris Slee),
LongEdge Press, 2015
Release date: late August in both paperback and EPUB formats.