Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Books read in 2012: No. 91 -- Broad-Sword and Single-Stick

by Rowland George Allanson-Winn and Clive Phillipps-Wolley

Started: Nov. 12
Finished: Nov. 13

Amazon link: Broad-Sword and Single-Stick With Chapters on Quarter-Staff, Bayonet, Cudgel, Shillalah, Walking-Stick, Umbrella and Other Weapons of Self-Defence

Notes: Originally published in 1911, this little book includes illustrations to show examples of various forms of defense. If I understand correctly this is sort of a combination late book about about the art of the duel (late because the art of the duel was pretty much dead by 1911) and self defense, which was growing in popularity. Allanson-Winn was a known author of boxing literature, and Phillipps-Wolley was a big game hunter, these two men bringing their practical knowledge to this piece of literature. As the rather long title in the Amazon link above shows, this book contains defense information about more weapons than simply the broad sword and single stick. As a fantasy writer, I'm often interested in such literature and how I can make use of it in my own writings, but I'm also interested from a historical vantage point.

Mini review: There was actually very little about true self defense, meaning a street fight or the like, though there was quite a bit of basic information about fencing with various weapons, especially the broad sword and single stick. Those experienced in fencing will recognize all these basics. However, I was a bit disappointed that there was not more here about footwork, because footwork is quite important in fencing. I'd like to add, the chapter on using an umbrella for self defense was pretty funny, though also practical.

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