Hardcover: 494 pages
Publisher: Pen and Sword (March 4, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.4 x 9.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #755,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #120 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Military #1024 in Books > History > Military > Weapons & Warfare > Conventional
(Reviewed by Scott Farrell, contributing author of the book "Martial Arts And Philosophy" - 2010, Open Court Press Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness (Popular Culture and Philosophy)The study of the ideals of chivalry is almost insuperable from the study of arms and armor, and the men (and women) who used them throughout history. In that regard, the new book Swords And Swordsmen by noted historical interpreter Mike Loades (Pen & Sword Books, Oct. 2010, 494 pgs.) is a fascinating read for anyone who is enthralled by the lore of the sword, not just as an icon of the medieval knight, but as a symbol of the highest ideals of martial endeavor throughout history.Fans of historically based television programming on the History, Discovery and National Geographic Channels will immediately recognize Loades from his many appearances as an expert commentator on a variety of shows. Perhaps just as recognizable as his face, however, is Loades' eager and enthusiastic voice as an advocate of active, engaging historical studies. His philosophy is based on the premise that history can't be truly understood from a distance - and Swords And Swordsmen is written in precisely this vein. The book straddles eras from Ancient Egypt during the rule of Tutankhamen (in 1336 B.C.) to the careers of J.E.B. Stuart and Gen. Custer. Almost every chapter focuses on a sword representative of a specific historical era, using the weapon to delve deeply, and sometimes very personally, into the background of a historical figure who carried and used the blade (or, at the very least, who probably carried and used one much like it).
Sword devotees, fan and scholars all likely have their favourite sword or 'type' of sword. Mike Loades recent submission entitled, 'Swords and Swordsmen' likely has something for everyone! This beautifully presented work features high quality photographs and imagery which accompany a text spanning many boundaries in both time and space. This lovely book takes us on a journey which begins in antiquity with an explorative look at, the swords and sword culture of the ancient Egyptians. The book goes further however, as it offers us a glimpse into many other areas of their lives and culture as well! This is done seamlessly without breaking stride or losing sight of the topic, but rather, weaves elements such as social context into the tapestry of a particular sword culture.Not unlike a textual Westward expansion, the reader's journey continues onward to Greece and Rome and forward into the Iron Age. Continuing the journey both westward and forward readers are offered a tantalizing view not only of the history and development of the sword but, of the history and development of peoples and cultures. Never losing the sword as the focal point of his work, Mr. Loades incorporates cultural elements which strengthen the readers understanding of how swords effected cultural development at multiple stratospheric levels of societal living. Readers meet the Celts, the Vikings and Crusading Knights as they travel through time, from the Iron Age into (and through), the MediÃ¦val era. As the MediÃ¦val world gives way to the Renaissance, many changes occur with regards to the history and development of the sword. It seems only fitting that at this point in the book, the reader's journey is abruptly changed as well.
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