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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 1 February 2011
This, the second of Hutton's books to be reprinted by Naval and Military Press (the other is Cold Steel: a practical treatise of the sabre) is extremely rare, for only 300 copies were printed. The author, ex-King's Dragoon Guards, was an acknowledged fencing expert, who made it his business to know the history of his sport as well as the practical application of it. Here he looks at the 15th to 16th centuries, and starts by looking at the two-handed sword. He continues with a history of the rapier and the dagger, the broadsword and the buckler, spending much time on a detailed history of both development and use of these weapons. He also looks at the practice of fighting with dagger and cloak and rapier and cloak, an almost balletic art much done in the fifteenth century. His next topic looks at the eighteenth century, after dealing with the transition period between swordplay and sport. The plates cover the various stages and movements of fencing, all of which are adapted from contemporary prints created by the masters of the art of the specific time. In all a very rewarding treatment of the art and its history.
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on 12 March 2003
This is a lovely little look into medieval swordsmanship, superbly layed out and well organised. Wonderfully ols fashioned and eccentric, with great woodcuts of fighters and a detailed look into the swordsman's vocabulary, much of which is Italian. Maybe a little confusing at first, but once you settle into the flow it reads smoothly. More interesting for the historian interested in the techniques used in medieval times, but still a quiant but enjoyable book!
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VINE VOICEon 17 October 2013
I teach historical fencing and got this book to try and get an insight into the origin of my hobby.

It's an entertaining but peculiar read. Beautifully reproduced in the way that Dover Books so often are.

Hutton's view of historical fence is seen through the distorting mirror of the contemporary sport fencing of his day and so is an interesting view.

Unfortunately by trying to force the early fencers to conform to the Victorian sport fencing guards and parries and the movements of his contemporaries he more or less misses the point of what the sixteenth and seventeenth century masters are saying.

Read it by all means, but beware of what he's saying and what he's calling things because 'you can't get there from here'...

If you want to read a contemporary seventeenth century manual in English you should get hold of Joseph Swetnam's and George Silver's book, they're both available as downloads from the net...
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on 18 February 2010
this book was the first of its kind i have read,and its a very solid interesting piece.what i liked and was most suprised by was the detail on fencing history,like how the italians were the founders of the sport and thus are grandmasters at it.however this is not a book for those who like an easy read.throughout there's much technical fencing terms (which are all in italian)and so people who do not compete in the sport of fencing(like myself) will require extra understanding.fortunately the italian terms sound beautiful and with fantastic illustrations to compliment each move,this is a great oppurtunity for people to brush up on their italian.
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on 1 July 2009
Its what got me started, Hutton was one of the small handful of folks who initated the first wave of historical studies of the traditional martial arts in England. May be dated and limited, but a seminal work. Note this version is taken from my personal copy, so of course I think its worth it.
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on 25 June 2014
This is a good reproduction of an interesting treatise. It has information about various disciplines from different times in history, and is a useful book for anyone interested in historical fencing.
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on 3 January 2013
The recipient was thrilled with this book & would recommend it to anyone who is involved or interested in swordfighting.E
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on 29 December 2014
it was very explicit in the drawings and left nothing out.
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on 1 June 2005
This is a rather short book on the use of several medieval weapon combinations. Great if you are interested in getting a basic outline of the technique but just when you think its about to get in depth, it switches to a new weapon. What there is of this book is very good, to get all five stars it would need to be at least twice as long so as to cover the details rather than just a general over view.
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on 14 August 2014
Disappointed. Reason disappointed is that I won't ever get to train with the author, without training with the author you are not going to understand 100% of what he is on about. Thank goodness my instructor is good, books rarely help.
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