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GR Boxell "wendlewulf" (New Zealand)

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The Longbow (Weapon)
The Longbow (Weapon)
by Mike Loades
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.84

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another book on the longbow in my collection, 23 Oct. 2013
This review is from: The Longbow (Weapon) (Paperback)
I bought Mike Loades' "The Longbow" because I am a re-enactor with the persona of a 14thC English yeoman archer and I want to read anything and everything that will help me gain a fuller understanding of the man I represent. I have seen many of the TV documentaries that the author has been involved with. He is an outstanding weapons master and the TV programmes do contain a lot of information and include many experiments to test what is known and what is said about fighting and warfare of the medieval period. I do, however, sometimes raise a questioning eyebrow at some of Mike Loades' conclusions. The book deals with some of the experiments contained in the programmes and it soon becomes obvious that time constrains and editing have distorted the conclusions you would make from watching them: the book gives a much more balanced interpretation.
The main reason I wanted the book was for the information on blunt force trauma caused by arrows, even when they do not penetrate armour and it reinforces my own theories.
One thing I still don't agree with the author on is how the war bow was used on the battlefield. I agree with him that long range (300 yards +) was rare and used for harassment and provocation. I would agree with 200 yards as the best range to start an arrow storm. What I can't agree with is the use of the bow at extreme short range in a melee situation. As a re-enactor who uses a longbow I know just how much room you need to use it and it cannot be used in a crush - you need about two foot either side of you to nock an arrow (this was one of the factors that made the musket more practical than the bow).
Nevertheless, it is a good book and ideal for those who want short read that will give the reader a good insight into the weapon and the men who welded it. For a more detailed study I would recommend Richard Wadge's "Arrow Storm".

Master of War
Master of War
by David Gilman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillant story, 1 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Master of War (Hardcover)
I am the sort of reader that writers of historical fiction fear! Not only was I, until I retired, a tutor in Early English History at a University, I am a re-enactor! My main periods of interest are Pre-Conquest England and the 100 Years War. My re-enactor persona is that of a yeoman archer in the reigns of Edward III and Richard II ([...] As an archer I was attracted to Master of War as it covered both a main character of the same ilk as myself and it was `my period'. I almost didn't buy the book as the picture on the front cover is so wrong from an archer's perspective, but having read a few extracts I decided it was worth a read (see the author's Face Book page).
This book certainly IS worth a read. The plot is well thought out, the concept, that of an archer becoming a Knight Bannerette, is historically valid, the life of an archer on campaign and fighting a battle realistic, the historical framework is accurate and the story flows and keeps you wanting to stay reading the book. So: Highly Recommended from a very critical reader. My only poor criticism is that, unless using a fire arrow, archers never `fire', they shoot or loose their arrows - the term `fire' come into use with the matchlock musket.

Offered by MEGA Media FBA
Price: £10.31

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At Last!, 1 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Unearthed (Audio CD)
My fellow Rockers who hung out at Bernies Cafe in Mordon always knew when it was my pay week as as sone as I arrived I would put a shilling in the juke box and play 'I Just Want a Little Bit' together with The Dave Clark 5's 'Thinking of You Baby' and Cliff Bennet & the Rebel Rousers' 'One Way Love'.
I bought the single 'I Just Want a Little Bit' at the time and always wanted more. Until recently the best I could find were a handful MP3 files someone posted on a now defunct file sharing site. Now I have a whole CD! Why The Undertakers weren't more of a sucess in the 60's I don't know.
This is the raw edged Rock 'n Roll I love

Raven 2: Sons of Thunder
Raven 2: Sons of Thunder
by Giles Kristian
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Raven: Sons of Thunder, 24 Mar. 2010
How does one find a book you want to read? Some I just find browsing book shops, others are recommended by internet book stores, some, like this one, come via information on an e-mail group. Although I am widely read when it comes to historical novels, I have a particular liking for dark ages stuff, especially English and Viking ones. This book combines both to a degree.
A fast paced blood curdling adventure by a mixed bunch of oath sworn Norse & English who venture into Charlemagne's Empire trying to sell a valuable gospel book, it will appeal to a mainly male audience who are more interested in adventure and action than in the domestic details of the period. Full of combat and battle, the fight that stuck in my mind was the especially graphic holmgang between the tale teller's jarl & a champion of Wessex.
Another part of the tale that remained in my mind is the river chase where the Wolf Pack in two boats (one confusingly called Fjord Elk, which is the same name used by Robert Low in his `Oath Sworn' series), together with three boatloads of desperate desiccated Danes, are on the run from Charlemagne's forces. Naturally they have a fight with the Imperial boats before escaping by Loki cunning, but in between they do Harald Hardrada's trick of jumping a chain stretched across the water.
The writing style displays some excellent word pictures of the scenes, but I feel they are somewhat overpowered by the florid dialogue between the characters where never have either Thor's or Ošin's balls been more hairy or more spoken of.
My only real concern with the book is the fact that the tale is portrayed as very much a religious battle between Christianity and Northern paganism and it doesn't quite fit in with my academic readings of the period, though I do acknowledge Charlemagne did use Christianity as a political tool in his attempts to unify his empire.
If you liked any of Robert Low's `Oath Sworn' series, Bernard Cornwell's `Saxon' series or the `Roman' series by Simon Scarrow, you will enjoy this book. However, this is the second book about Raven & his mates and you may prefer to start with the first book `Blood Eye'.

Knights of the Black and White Book One: Bk. 1
Knights of the Black and White Book One: Bk. 1
by Jack Whyte
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Holey Story, 16 Jun. 2008
"I know of no other book which places true historical facts so easily into the dialogue. "
Well so far I have only read the author's inro and the first chapter and its historical accuracy is already full of holes.
I will persist, though expect it will end up being thrown at the wall in exasteration

Cold Heart, Cruel Hand: A novel of Hereward the Wake
Cold Heart, Cruel Hand: A novel of Hereward the Wake
by Laurence J. Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.00

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another author's view, 13 July 2005
Cold Heart, Cruel Hand Laurence J Brown, Paul Mould Publishing 2004, ISBN 09528708-9-4
Ranulf Redbeard rides again! This time the sole survivor of King Harold's Huscarls finds himself fighting alongside Hereward the Wake. There have been many takes on Hereward's story with every author striving to understand this complex man who became one of England's first folk heroes. Author Laurence Brown, with his vivid style and enthusiasm, sticks quite close to the story as written down in the primary source De Gestis Herwardi Saxonis, even to the extent of using the Latinised names for some of the English resistance fighters. Again there are problems with the finer points of detailed research but, as with Housecarl, you can easily put this to one side and enjoy getting swept along in the high adventure.
The book ends with the fall of Ely and the Cap of Refuge to the Normans. The question now is; where will Ranulf Redbeard go next? Hereward carried on his fight for several more years after Ely fell, but many of his comrades left England to emigrate to Constantinople and joining the Varangian Guard. Now isn't that an idea for the next book! Though maybe he will join Earl Waeltheof in his many adventures? Hmm, I'll just have to wait and see won't I!

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