Despite the title (which Wadge indentifies as a 15th century term) this not another 'longbow as superweapon' book. It's actually about the economic and sociological context that led to - or allowed to happen - the period of battlefield pre-eminence enjoyed by English and Welsh archers.
So whilst fans of draw-weight statistics will recognise elements of this book, the most illuminating part for me was that while daily pay rates for archers were comparable with other skilled workers - a fairly well known fact - the bowmen were fortunate enough to receive the money seven days a week whereas back in England no-one could work or get paid for the one hundred Sundays and other feast days every year decreed by the church.
So, a fascinating background to the period for those interested in the wider picture.
on 3 January 2014
Richard Wadge does all his research meticulously and it shows in this book. It's the sort of tome that you dip into rather than settling down and reading like a novel, so full of information is it. I must say it's not particularly easy reading and you need to be a real traditional archery freak to have the fortitude to wade through it's pages...fortunately for me, I am that man, so I found it riveting.