As Seen On …
- About Me
- Club 1570 – Later 16th Century Side Sword
Subscribe via Email
Worth A Tip?
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 holds a unique position in the development of martial arts in the nineteenth century. It was at
Title: Fencing through the AgesSelling Paperback and eBook
Author: Adolphe Corthey
Translator: Chris Slee
Publisher: LongEdge Press
Pub. Date: 2015
Language: English (original in French)
Format(s): US Digest, EPUB, MOBI
ISBN: (Paperback) 9780994359001, (eBook) 9780994359018
- Lulu Bookstore [paperback link, ebook link]
- Barnes and Noble
- Angus and Robertson
- Fishpond Bookstore
- Kobo Bookstore
Adolphe Corthey is the powerhouse behind the revival of interest in historical or period fencing in late nineteenth century France yet he remains largely […]
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. […]
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 […]
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
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 on the south of France in the high medieval […]
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?
Title: The Trial of the Templars
Author: Malcolm Barber
Paperback: 408 pages
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 1978 (Second edition 2006)
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:
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.
Title: The Knight in History
Author: Frances Gies
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial, 2011
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 […]
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 […]
Title: Pegasus Bridge
Author: Stephen E Ambrose
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 2002
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 […]
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 […]
Author: Edward Peters
Paperback: 362 pages
Publisher: University of California Press, 1989
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 […]
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 […]