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The Medieval Archer [Paperback]

Jim Bradbury
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

7 Jan 2014
It is a delight to read a book which recognises the importance of warfare in medieval times...also...discusses the changing role of the archer in medieval society. SIR STEVEN RUNCIMANThis book traces the history of the archer in the medieval period, from the Norman Conquest to the Wars of the Roses. From a close study of early evidence, Mr Bradbury shows that the archer's role before the time of Edward I was an important but rarely documented one, and that his new prominence in the fourteenth century was the result of changes in development of military tactics rather than the introduction of the famous `longbow'. A second thread of the book examines the archer's role in society, with particular reference to that most famous of all archers, Robin Hood. The final chapters look at the archer in the early fifteenth century and then chronicle the rise of the handgun as the major infantry weapon at the bow's expense. JIM BRADBURY writes and lectures on battles and warfare in England and France in the middle ages.

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The Medieval Archer + The English Longbowman, 1330-1515 (Warrior)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: Boydell Press; New edition edition (7 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851156754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851156750
  • Product Dimensions: 25 x 17 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 396,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


It is a delight to read a book which recognises the importance of warfare in medieval times and describes a highly important element in the fighting, the use of archers, illustrating it with clear accounts of a long series of battles in which archery played a part, and which also, to satisfy modern historiographical tastes, discusses the changing role of the archer in medieval society. STEPHEN RUNCIMAN, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH A work of very considerable value to all those interested in medieval military history. He does full justice to the role the bow and the archer played in medieval history, and ably discusses the ambivalent attitude of the great and powerful towards the common archer. GUY WILSON, MASTER OF THE ARMOURIES, ROYAL ARMOURIES

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"There was no military situation in which the bow could not prove useful. Its ideal use in battle is generally seen as being in a defensive formation. It became common to emphasise that defensive position by using hedges, ditches, pits or stakes. At Morlaix in 1342 the English archers built ditches around themselves, and at Poitiers made mounds and ditches. It is noteworthy that Charles of Blois sought to minimise the effect of the English archers by clearing the countryside of hedges and other obstacles. The use of protective stakes at Agincourt is well know.
Archery proved just as useful in offensives, and in sieges. Archers were frequently posted on battlements and walls, behind loops. They could also be sent forward in attack. At Lisbon, during the Second Crusade...the enemy were driven from a tower by a 'charge of archers'."
Excerpt from Chapter 1, The Archer and His Weapons, from "The Medieval Archer".

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point...... 31 Jan 2004
Bradbury has compiled a well presented and researched thesis on the complete development of European Archery, with some excellent alternatives which cast doubt on the presently accepted norms, such as who really was "Robin Hood" and the "Father of the Longbow"? To a review of the Archer and his role in the military and society of the Middle Ages.
For anyone who has an interest in the historical aspects of archery this edition is a must for your collection.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Effort 20 Sep 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Huzzah! A book about medieval archery that avoids common pitfalls (lack of supporting evidence, abysmal writing style, and the peculiar need to describe Poitiers, Crecy and Agincourt in minute detail). The author knows his stuff, presents it in an interesting and authoritive style, and makes no pretence that this is the definitive (should that read "dreary"?) work. Instead he looks at the development of archery in this period and, more interestingly, at the people.
A considerably better effort than most in this field.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 21 Sep 2010
By Zardoz
I can highly recommend this book as an objective treatise on the origins of medeival archery and the social impacts it had.
Many books on this subject bestow an almost legendary value to the role of the medeival archer.
This book gives a balanced viewpoint on the subject and highlights the often unrealised parallel development of the crossbow and later on, firearms.
The book is both informative and readable, my only critisism would be the quality of illustrations. These are mainly greyscale and some would have benefitted from being in colour (perhaps in the reprint?).
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