This magnificent book tells the story of the evolution of swords, how they were made, how they were used, and the people that used them. It doesn't claim to give comprehensive coverage but instead takes certain surviving examples as landmarks on a fascinating journey through the history of swords. Each is selected because it can be linked to a specific individual, thus telThis magnificent book tells the story of the evolution of swords, how they were made, how they were used, and the people that used them. It doesn't claim to give comprehensive coverage but instead takes certain surviving examples as landmarks on a fascinating journey through the history of swords. Each is selected because it can be linked to a specific individual, thus telling their story too and giving a human interest. So the journey starts with the sword of Tutankhamun and ends with the swords of J E B Stuart and George Custer. Along the way we take in Henry V, Cromwell and Uesugi Kenshin, and there is the most detailed discussion you'll find anywhere of all of George Washington's swords. The chapters on these specific swords and swordsmen are alternated with more general chapters on the changing technical developments and fashions in swords and their use. The reader's guide on this historical tour is Mike Loades. Mike has been handling swords most of his life, as a fight arranger, stuntman and historical weapons expert for TV and stage. He considers the sword as a functional weapon, work of art, fashion statement and cultural icon. As much as his profound knowledge of the subject, it is his lifelong passion for swords that comes through on every page. His fascinating text is supported by a lavish wealth of images, many previously unpublished and taken specifically for this book.REVIEWS truly a high quality product, beautifully produced and with lavish illustration throughout a great read and highly recommended. Military Illustrated, January 2011 the reader is quickly drawn into a journey into man s past that is both illuminating and entertaining. If more scholarly works were as well researched and as scintillating, the hallowed halls of academia would be that much more attractive! Armchair General.com, 01/2011 For anyone interested in Military History, this is a fascinating book .Well illustrated and written, this is a social and martial history all in one. Ancient Egypt Magazine, February/March 2011For modern fencers, Swords and Swordsmen vividly brings to life the weapons from which our sport derives as Mike Loades shares his passion and fascination for the sword and takes the reader on a journey through history. Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated by over 200 photographs and 100 line drawings The Sword, January 2011 handsome, 494 page volume (including glossary, bibliography and index) investigates both the technical aspects as well as the societal impetus behind sword evolution in a way that is both academic as well as highly fascinating . presents swords as seen through the eyes of prominent historical figures who used them and of particular interest is the highly detailed focus on actual pedigree pieces. Generously illustrated with period images, fine line drawings and photographs of original antique swords from museums and private collections. Whether a new enthusiast just starting out, a practitioner of the sword arts or an advanced aficionado or collector, there is something in Swords And Swordsmen for everyone Swordforum.com, May 3, 2011From its earliest pages to its epilogue (which treats the sword in its modern incarnation from a 19th century dueling implement to the modern sport of fencing), Swords And Swordsmen makes it clear that no study of the design, function and symbolism of the sword can be entirely complete without an understanding of the code of chivalry, and vice-versa.Chivalry Today"...
|Title||:||Swords and Swordsmen|
|Number of Pages||:||494 Pages|
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Swords and Swordsmen Reviews
After reading Loades's excellent The Longbow, I had to get his Swords & Swordsmen. This book is almost 500 pages long, and I was rapt reading each page of it. Instead of focusing on one version of this weapon, Loades discusses exemplars of various types of swords through time, starting with the sword of Tutankhamun in Egypt all the way through the swords of J.E.B. Stuart and G.A. Custer in the American Civil War. There are 15 chapters all discussing different eras and swords that provide a mountain of insight. The love Loades has for and the practical experience he has with the topic shines through on every page. Just as with The Longbow, you’ll learn about use, construction, the interplay with armor, and much more. Heck, I got the ideas for at least three novels reading this book. I loved it as much as I loved the first.
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 Mediæval era. As the Mediæval 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. The journey West is briefly interrupted as the reader is off on an exhilarating foray into the ethnographic edged weapons of the far east.After a brief but fascinating look at the sword culture and development of the far east, the reader is once again taken westward for an insightful look at the development of honour culture and the dueling ethos. The reader is continually advanced through time (and towards the west) as the rise of dueling weapons such as the rapier, give way to the smallsword and the western world of the past expands to include the Americas. In keeping with the title, this is not only a tome about swords, but also, about the men who wielded them. Readers are offered introduction to many of the great leaders who shaped the world in which we now live. I will not offer the entire "who's who?" list of names but, will rather tease he potential reader by suggesting that you will begin your introductions with Tutankhamun, continue onward, meeting many along the way, until you will meet none other than George Washington, and the journey only continues from there!If there is any flaw to be found with this writing, it would be, that at just under 500 pages the vast scope of such a work is somewhat 'muted' in the interest of not producing an encylopædic work. The result of this however, is a volume in which, the author makes good use of the briefly allotted chapter size. Descriptions are clear, concise and seldom given to tangents or 'flights of fancy'. While it is apparent throughout, that the author could say a good deal more, the book does not convey any sense that key or important information has been omitted. What does seem apparent (and indeed tantalizing) is that Mr. Loades undoubtedly has within him the capacity to enthrall the reader yet again with future writings. One can only remain hopeful that he will indeed produce future volumes.As stated at the outset of this review, many historians, scholars and students of the sword, no doubt have their favourites. Those who favour a particular sword, type of sword, or even period of history might find more information in a work dedicated solely to that topic. What readers will be hard pressed to discover elsewhere however, is an author who writes with more passion about their given subject. Mr. Loades is a long standing and respected presenter on historical arms and armour in the AV media realms of film and television. Any who have viewed him in this format have seen his passion, but to convey such passion through the written word is a rare gift indeed! It is refreshing to see Mr. Loades venture into writing and, with such an enjoyable and impressive inaugural edition, one can only hope that he will continue to add the moniker of 'author' to his already impressive resume.-John Farthing(This review also submitted on Amazon)
This is an outstanding book. I've enjoyed Mike Loades' television programs; his enthusiasm for the subjects he presents on is infectious. I've discovered the same is true with his writing. He manages to explore the subject in great detail without being pedantic. For the sword enthusiast this book is a must have.
A thoroughly engrossing and informative read. I learned a immense amount, whilst enjoying the process immensely. A recommended read if the subject is of interest to you.