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Records of the Medieval Sword Paperback – 2 Jan 1991


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Product details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Boydell Press (2 Jan 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851155669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851155661
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 21.6 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 100,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matthew M. on 27 Jan 2005
Format: Paperback
The book is excellent, both in terms of content and design. Takes you through European Medieval swords very thoroughly with good pictures and very personable written work. An excellent resource for both beginner and experienced collector.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Feb 2001
Format: Paperback
This book has a comprehensive list of swords and numerous photos. It is worth every penny. I look through it a lot. The categories are handy, the writing is good and the photos are excellent.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marianthoula on 1 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was unsure how to rate this book. The actual book is in itself a 5-star and a clasic. But beware! I ordered it February 2012, after it had dissappeared for a while and when it was available again I grabbed it.

As soon as I unpacked it I suspected - photocopy/scan of the actual book. This may not necessarily be a bad thing, since the new book says inside: "Transferred to digital printing 2009". Is that why the quality is so bad? I did not see any such note on the description of the product when I bought it or even now that I check again. I was expecting the same book as the one I bought back on 2005 in therms of quality. Because 30GBP for printing a scanned book is way too much. Even with binding.

I grabbed the 2005-bought book and compared them side-by-side:

- The cover: the colours are a little off, and the printing quality of the picture is much coarser (not so fine in details/colour gradient)
- The black'n'white photos inside: if you have ever photocopied something with a grey background, you know how the copy is. Not a fine colour but with banding background and with less details on the items. I cannot explain this in english, but it screams "photocopy".
- The paper: the original is printed in smoother, more luster-like paper. This is coarser.

This is what I gathered from a (very) fast comparison. I must add that the 2005-bought book has ISBN 085115566-9. The new book has ISBN 978-0-85115-566-1. These ISBNs appear in the product description also, as ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 respectively. Can anyone inform me on what this means? Is it something the average person should know/pay attention to before buying?

To finish this, the book is great (well, I bought it for the second time so it's saying something!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Burke on 30 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback
I bought this book in 1991 when it first came out. I have a large collection of books on arms and armour, and naturally wanted to buy this one as soon as it was published. I have been interested in arms and armour for over 40 years, and have met the likes of Ewart Oakshott, Vesey Norman, David Edge and others to discuss the subject.

The first thing that disappointed me about this book was that Boydell managed to print the first edition with a missing chapter! When I contacted the company about this their representative was not very helpful, but arranged for the missing pages to be sent to me in the form of photocopies!

As to the content, I have some serious concerns. I have checked some of the measurements of swords given by Oakshott with the Tower Armouries and they were all wrong. It seems Oakshott may have guessed some of them. Sadly some replica sword manufacturers have made repros based on Oakshott's inaccurate measurements (I have such a sword myself), resulting in some unwealdy weapons. Oakshott's system of categorising swords is also unwealdy, leading to he himself getting confused at times.

Next Oakshott made a number of extraordinary claims for two swords in the book, one was said to the Black Prince's sword, the other that of Edward III. These claims resulted in some extended correspondence in the Newsletter of the Arms and Armour Society, between Oakshott and Claude Blair. I should add that Blair was one of the leading authorities on European Arms and Armour, and wrote one of the classic books on the subject. The claim for one sword being that of the Black Prince, was easy to demolish, there is simply no evidence whatsoever that if ever belonged to him, nor could there be any such evidence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bjorn on 16 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback
This is standard work for medieval edged weapon classification. It will classify and provide type examples for European straight edged cruciform swords from the early medieval to renaissance period. This book is often cited as reference in discussions among collectors, reenactors and sword-smiths alike.
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