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A Must-Read for Anyone Interested in the Longbow
on 31 July 2006
In The Crooked Stick Hugh Soar provides historically sound and wonderfully entertaining information about diverse aspects of the history of the longbow. Though he gives appropriate attention to the much-studied use of the longbow in the Hundred Years War, Soar begins his book with fascinating chapters about the early development of the bow and the place of the bow in the elaborate ritual of medieval hunting. After continuing through an excellent discussion of the English war bow, Soar moves on to the less familiar ground of the development of recreational and social archery in England, including the rise of the archery societies in the Victorian period.
Throughout the book Soar maintains a pleasant, somewhat conversational style. The reader can easily imagine that he is listening to Mr. Soar as he gives a talk to one of the longbow societies in which he is well known. The combination of this agreeable tone with the well selected historical information makes for a thoroughly pleasurable and rewarding read. The Crooked Stick should be read by anyone with even a casual interest in the longbow, and should be added to the library of anyone with a deeper interest.