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Swords and Swordsmen Hardcover – Illustrated, 21 Oct 2010
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is truly a high quality product, beautifully
produced and with lavish illustration
throughout, many in full colour. As well
as pictures of weapons, often in close-up,
there is a wide range of pictures showing
swords being used for ceremonial
purposes, in battle and for sport. A great
read and highly recommended.
--Military Illustrated, January 2011
About the Author
Mike Loades is best known as the presenter of Weapons that Made Britain and Weapon Masters, but has appeared in dozens of other documentaries as an historical weapons expert and military historian. As a fight arranger he has choreographed fight and battle sequences (most of which involved swords!) for over a hundred television productions, plays and operas. He has also directed several historical documentaries for National Geographic and History Channel. He has lectured and written widely on arms and armour, contributing to both periodicals and books. Swords and Swordsmen is his first full-length, solo book. Although British, Mike now lives in the San Francisco Bay area with his wife and dogs, where he continues to work on various television and writing projects.
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Top customer reviews
I am so glad there are publishes who are willing to print books that are away from main stream interests. The quality and layout of the book is excellent. The only reason I don't give it five stars is that in the earlier chapters, there are numerous historical references, that require you to stop and check their chronological order. This may say more about my state education, rather than Mr Loads knowledge and desire to put the swords in their historical context. As the author alludes to, it must of been a editorial nightmare, to decide relevant information to include or discard.
The book is a real 'page turner' as it is written in a enthusiastic style and despite my earlier criticism of the first few chapters, most people will read it with pleasure.
If you get the chance to purchase this book, please do. It will encourage publishes to continue to print books that have have historical research and experimentation, to advance historical facts over glamorised versions of history.
I know only basics about bronze swords and early on I was very interested in what I read. Loades brings up sources and uses them to pass on info to the reader. It definitly seemed a lot better than the TV shows which he has done. Many TV shows like to 'bend the rules' when it comes to history, I even remember an advisor being hired for a movie, but never being asked a single question about historical accuracy, the studio was just having the advisor there so as to say that they had one in the credits.
But then as the book moved on to other era, it started going bad. The author makes up stuff or turns theories and opinions into facts whenever it fits the story. His theory about pulling behind a shield with a Khopesh is an example that I looked into. Yes, he has tried it in the past for TV as he stated, but neglects to mention that he did it with a steel version of the sword, which is a bit stronger than the bronze variety.
Another example would be him telling us that Roman soldiers wore their gladius on the right because it was supposedly painful to wear both gladius and scutum(shield) on the left. It was supposedly 'excruciantingly painful to wear both left for several miles(heavy equipment is always a pain to carry for long distances, hardly an argument here).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I've not actually read this book as yet, although it is one I'd like to. I did a quick web search because the Kindle price is astronomical (£21.59 at time of this review). Read morePublished 21 months ago by Martin G.
A delightful book. Obviously written by someone who has a real passion for swords and swordsmanship. The action is almost palpable. Read morePublished on 8 Jan. 2015 by Carry on calmly
An utterly fascinating study into swords, their development, and the warriors that once wielded them. A must buy for any fantasy writers, historical fiction, HEMA or LARPersPublished on 3 Oct. 2014 by Matthew J. Sylvester
It's already had plenty of accolades, but I felt compelled to add my ha'penny worth. This book is simply miles better than I'd expected it would be.Published on 19 Jun. 2014 by Mark Copage
Not often I can't put a book down till it is finished - this is one. Everything I expected from the title and much more.Published on 1 Jun. 2014 by ANDREW BELLAMY