history 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><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>The most difficult aspect of interpreting Henry de Sainct-Didier’s Secrets of the Sword Alone (1573) is not so much finding a translation for his rather vague and nebulous term <em>desrober</em> but understanding how he applies it to his system of swordsmanship. His meaning is made clear not by understanding the word itself but through simple contextual analysis of the strikes before and after the action he calls <em>desrober</em>. I will show here that Sainct-Didier has a clear and consistent meaning for the term which serves to underscore the basic principles of his text.</p>
<p>The term itself is easily understood.  […]</p>

    Henry de Sainct-Didier’s “Desrober”

    The most difficult aspect of interpreting Henry de Sainct-Didier’s Secrets of the Sword Alone (1573) is not so much finding a translation for his rather vague and nebulous term desrober but understanding how he applies it to his system of swordsmanship. His meaning is made clear not by understanding the word itself but through simple contextual analysis of the strikes before and after the action he calls desrober. I will show here that Sainct-Didier has a clear and consistent meaning for the term which serves to underscore the basic principles of his text.

    The term itself is easily understood. […]

  • <p>This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.</p>
<ul>
<li>Secrets of the Single Sword – Triangle and Quadrangle</li>
</ul>
<p>The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not  […]</p>

    Sainct Didier’s Footwork

    This is a translation of the section concerning how to step correctly in Henri de Sainct Didier’s Secrets of the Single Sword (1573). More sections of the text will be translated as time allows.

    • Secrets of the Single Sword – Triangle and Quadrangle

    The translation is based on the transcription of the copy in the Library of the city of Blois (available at Bibliotheque Virtuelles Humanistes) made in 2010 by Olivier Depuis for l’Association pour la Recherche et le Développement des Arts Martiaux Historiques Européens. All amendments to the text made in the transcription have been assumed and are not […]

  • <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>The dusack is a remarkable weapon. It’s traditionally made of wood or leather (although some metal examples are known) and was used as a training weapon the the German schools of swordsmanship and the town guard in Eastern Europe to quell hordes of drunken revelers. The dusack fighting system outlined in Joachim Meyer’s Art of Combat (1570, tr. J. Forgeng) is bone-breakingly fast.</p>
<p>My question has always been where on earth did such an unusally shaped weapon come from? Then I stumbled across this.</p>
<p>Dusacks in Pennsylvania? Gangs of militant Amish keeping the law with quaintly decorated wooden swords?</p>
<p>The  […]</p>

    The Dusack’s Agricultural Origins

    The dusack is a remarkable weapon. It’s traditionally made of wood or leather (although some metal examples are known) and was used as a training weapon the the German schools of swordsmanship and the town guard in Eastern Europe to quell hordes of drunken revelers. The dusack fighting system outlined in Joachim Meyer’s Art of Combat (1570, tr. J. Forgeng) is bone-breakingly fast.

    My question has always been where on earth did such an unusally shaped weapon come from? Then I stumbled across this.

    Dusacks in Pennsylvania? Gangs of militant Amish keeping the law with quaintly decorated wooden swords?

    The […]

  • <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 […]

  • This book fills me with nerd rage. It's such an arrogant and ill-informed Victorian age view of the history of fencing. The author is so thoroughly caught up with the nineteenth century idea of progress that he cannot see anything beyond what he wants to see. Sadly, the book is still the best history of fencing from the Middle Ages to the present day. Here's a sample:

    Review: Schools and Masters of Fencing

    This book fills me with nerd rage. It's such an arrogant and ill-informed Victorian age view of the history of fencing. The author is so thoroughly caught up with the nineteenth century idea of progress that he cannot see anything beyond what he wants to see. Sadly, the book is still the best history of fencing from the Middle Ages to the present day. Here's a sample:
  • Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood is at once incredibly interesting and hopelessly broken. It is seriously let down by its misleading subtitle and back cover blurb as well as by meandering aimlessly through its subject matter. Nevertheless, it's a fascinating look at the development of science and the persistence of belief in the cold hard light of fact.

    Review: Flat Earth

    Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea by Christine Garwood is at once incredibly interesting and hopelessly broken. It is seriously let down by its misleading subtitle and back cover blurb as well as by meandering aimlessly through its subject matter. Nevertheless, it's a fascinating look at the development of science and the persistence of belief in the cold hard light of fact.
  • <p><strong>Title</strong>: The Knight in History<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Frances Gies<br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 272 pages<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: Harper Perennial, 2011<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: English</p>
<p>Any one with an interest in the middle ages should read this book. It’s definitely not a masterpiece of literature but it clearly outline the development of the concept of knighthood from its origins in the eighth and ninth centuries until its slow, sad decline around the sixteenth century. The unstated aim of the work appears to be to counter the dreadful notions of knighthood we’ve inherited from the the Victorian era.</p>
<p>Professor Gies covers history of knighthood  […]</p>

    Review: The Knight in History

    Title: The Knight in History
    Author: Frances Gies
    Paperback: 272 pages
    Publisher: Harper Perennial, 2011
    Language: English

    Any one with an interest in the middle ages should read this book. It’s definitely not a masterpiece of literature but it clearly outline the development of the concept of knighthood from its origins in the eighth and ninth centuries until its slow, sad decline around the sixteenth century. The unstated aim of the work appears to be to counter the dreadful notions of knighthood we’ve inherited from the the Victorian era.

    Professor Gies covers history of knighthood […]

  • <p>I’ve posted before on the difference between sword fighting and swordplay. One is for the battlefield and the other is for more social situations. I find it amazing that there are historical fencers wthese not understand or fully appreciate the different contexts in which these wonderful weapons were used and how their use changed over time. This post is a quick and very general overview of the different situations in which swords were used.</p>
Battlefield
<p>This is the most obvious use of the sword as a weapon. It is also the one that is least understood by fencers. Contrary to  […]</p>

    Swordplay: Context is Everything

    I’ve posted before on the difference between sword fighting and swordplay. One is for the battlefield and the other is for more social situations. I find it amazing that there are historical fencers wthese not understand or fully appreciate the different contexts in which these wonderful weapons were used and how their use changed over time. This post is a quick and very general overview of the different situations in which swords were used.

    Battlefield

    This is the most obvious use of the sword as a weapon. It is also the one that is least understood by fencers. Contrary to […]

  • <p><strong>Title</strong>: Pegasus Bridge<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Stephen E Ambrose<br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 256 pages<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: Simon & Schuster 2002<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: English</p>
<p>Ambrose book is a great read for anyone with even a passing interest in the event but it is not without its faults. It’s purpose should be thought of as an introduction to this amazing event in military history rather than a definitive or in-depth history of the action.</p>
<p>Growing up on war movies and historical miniatures gaming, I’ve pretty much always been aware of the efforts of Johnny Howard‘s lads to take and hold the bridges over  […]</p>

    Review: Pegasus Bridge

    Title: Pegasus Bridge
    Author: Stephen E Ambrose
    Paperback: 256 pages
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster 2002
    Language: English

    Ambrose book is a great read for anyone with even a passing interest in the event but it is not without its faults. It’s purpose should be thought of as an introduction to this amazing event in military history rather than a definitive or in-depth history of the action.

    Growing up on war movies and historical miniatures gaming, I’ve pretty much always been aware of the efforts of Johnny Howard‘s lads to take and hold the bridges over […]

  • <p>At the end of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s <strong>On The Art of Fencing</strong> (1572), there’s a wonderful aside in which he explains the basics techniques he’d teach a complete fencing newbie who must fight a duel of honour in thirty days. In this post, I want to point out the similarities with the single sword system of Dall’Agocchie’s contemporary, Joachim Meyer, whose <strong>Art of Combat</strong> (1570) includes an extensive chapter on use of the rapier.</p>
<p>I can’t summarise Dall’Agochhie’s essential actions better than has already been done by Steve Reich (Nova Assalto).</p>
<p>Dall’Agocchie proposes to teach the prospective duellist only one of  […]</p>

    Dall’Agocchie’s Essential Actions

    At the end of Giovanni Dall’Agocchie’s On The Art of Fencing (1572), there’s a wonderful aside in which he explains the basics techniques he’d teach a complete fencing newbie who must fight a duel of honour in thirty days. In this post, I want to point out the similarities with the single sword system of Dall’Agocchie’s contemporary, Joachim Meyer, whose Art of Combat (1570) includes an extensive chapter on use of the rapier.

    I can’t summarise Dall’Agochhie’s essential actions better than has already been done by Steve Reich (Nova Assalto).

    Dall’Agocchie proposes to teach the prospective duellist only one of […]

  • <p><strong>Title</strong>: Inquisition<br />
<strong>Author</strong>: Edward Peters<br />
<strong>Paperback</strong>: 362 pages<br />
<strong>Publisher</strong>: University of California Press, 1989<br />
<strong>Language</strong>: English</p>
<p>This brilliant study is immensely valuable to the amateur historian on three levels. The least of these is how it shows the Inquisition as the outcome of the legal system of Ancient Rome. It also examines in detail the organization, procedures, process and results of the various inquisition throughout an 800+ year history based on the notoriously meticulous records recently released from the Vatican Archive. More importantly, it compares the process of the inquisition to that of secular courts  […]</p>

    Review: Inquisition

    Title: Inquisition
    Author: Edward Peters
    Paperback: 362 pages
    Publisher: University of California Press, 1989
    Language: English

    This brilliant study is immensely valuable to the amateur historian on three levels. The least of these is how it shows the Inquisition as the outcome of the legal system of Ancient Rome. It also examines in detail the organization, procedures, process and results of the various inquisition throughout an 800+ year history based on the notoriously meticulous records recently released from the Vatican Archive. More importantly, it compares the process of the inquisition to that of secular courts […]

  • <p>As previously threatened, I’m writing a roleplaying convention game again. I’ll be running a <strong>Space 1889</strong> scenario called <strong>The Deathless Hordes of Mars</strong> at AusCon II in Brisbane, Australia, in October. This post has the advertising blurb for the adventure and a little about the Space 1889 game.</p>
<p>Space 1889 is the original steampunk roleplaying game. It sets itself in an alternative history in which Thomas Edison (who else?) has invented a device which can be used to propel ships through the luminiferous ether between the planets. This has opened up the way for colonisation of Mars and Venus and  […]</p>

    Space 1889: The Deathless Hordes of Mars

    As previously threatened, I’m writing a roleplaying convention game again. I’ll be running a Space 1889 scenario called The Deathless Hordes of Mars at AusCon II in Brisbane, Australia, in October. This post has the advertising blurb for the adventure and a little about the Space 1889 game.

    Space 1889 is the original steampunk roleplaying game. It sets itself in an alternative history in which Thomas Edison (who else?) has invented a device which can be used to propel ships through the luminiferous ether between the planets. This has opened up the way for colonisation of Mars and Venus and […]