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A fascinating book, but does not address the main subject.
on 10 April 2015
My principal interest in purchasing this book from such an expert as Mike Loades, was to learn about the structure and development of the weapon as such: the growing sophistication of the bow; the types of wood used; the use of multiple woods in a single bow and what they added to to its capabilities; what other materials like bone, metal, etc were introduced; and what might have been their contribution to its functionality; the possible influence of the eastern and middle-eastern bow structures. In effect, my interest was in the instrument itself. While some of these points were briefly mentioned, it was always in a secondary context. The main thrust of the book was to look at its strategic function as a weapon of war, the arrow heads developed for it as different armours were developed as a defence, and its tactical battlefield use. All of this was presented in an interesting way and with the full expertise of one of the world's leading authorities, and included historical references at all stages to justify Mike Loades' intrpretation of events. So to that extent, I am pleased that I bought the book, as I learned much from it. A subtitle along American lines such "The tactical use of the weapon in battle through the Middle Ages" would have been helpful. As it is, I am still looking for the kind of information I sought.