This book is more than the sum of its parts. The history of the Norman invasion thorough to Henry V111 is held together by the development and use of the long bow. I've heard it described as the atomic bomb of its day. I'm full of awe at the development of the training of the Yeomen and the strength they must have developed just to draw some of the bigger bows. It is evidently possible to tell from the skeletons that came from the Mary Rose, those which were archers due to the skeletal changes that took place as a result of the men drawing a yard. It's also interesting to think of the logistics of developing the bow using the heard wood and the outer wood to it's greatest effect. Then the development of supply lines for all the bows, bow strings, arrows, feathers etc and then the delivery of all of it to central points. Considering they didn't have even a postal service, never mind a mobile phone, the communication itself must have been formidable. For anyone interested in the history of this era this is a 'must read'.
Read this book twenty years ago and mentally made a note to try some medieval archery....a really inspirational read for an "Englysshman"...you can hear Hardy's plummy vowels resonating through the text as you read his descriptions of the various battles of the HYW.
Now that I am totally immersed in heavy war bow archery (an interest that has since become a totally all-consuming activity), I bought this as a copy for a new archer and ended up re-reading (and keeping), this revised edition myself from cover to cover. Thoroughly recommended for anyone with even a passing interest in this weapon and the pivotal role it played during the Hundred Years War against the French and archery in a wider context up to the modern day.
Still reading this as other books got in first, and whilst this is quite detailed and informative in relation to the relevance of the Longbow in battles, for me it is not as readable as Mr Soars book. Worth having, but expensive.
The best book on the subject, written with flair and panache. This is my third copy, the first two having been lent to others and lost to me. Hey ho. Contains, on p56, the best definition of bloody-minded Britishness known to me. In my bloody mindedness I shan't be lending this one to anyone. NMC
I used to do archery as a boy and have been threatening to tKe it up again for some time now. The timely arrival of this book has hastened that decision. It is: thorough, authoritative and yet, unusually for such a book not boring like some others I have read. The history is accurate and Hardys dealings with all aspects of the battles and the weapons ( and not just the longbow) just brings the whole history to life. If you are considering buying such a book then stop - considering that is and buy this one, it's great! Stuart Clifford
Excellent speedy service only surpassed by the extra effort made with the packaging. The book looked as though it had just rolled off the printers press, just what I wanted as it was a gift. The recipient too was delighted with the content of this great publication.