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Methods and Practice of Elizabethan Swordplay Hardcover – June 11, 1990

ISBN-13: 978-0809315628 ISBN-10: 0809315629 Edition: 1st

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Methods and Practice of Elizabethan Swordplay + Giacomo di Grassi his True arte of defence plainlie teaching by infallable demonstrations apt figures and perfect rules the manner and forme how a man ... as defensiue. Englished by I.G. (1594) + A Gentleman's Guide to Duelling: Of Honour and Honourable Quarrels.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 1st edition (June 11, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809315629
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809315628
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,107,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"I feel honored to be asked to comment on this splendid and absorbing book. [It] is an invaluable reference book for fight directors and all those involved in staging exhibitions of historical swordplay. I recommend it wholeheartedly."        —Patrick Crean, Fight Master of the Stratford, Ontario, Shakespeare Festival

About the Author

Craig Turner is Associate Professor of Theater at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Tony Soper is an actor and fight director who has handled fight roles ranging from Shakespeare to samurai.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jay Rudin on June 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you are interested in a first look at Elizabethan swordplay, this isn't a bad place to start. They have gone through the basics reasonably well, and tried to explain how to use them. Choreographers and fencers who wish to be shown what do do, rather than doing the research themselves, will find it an excellent resource.
But accept it for what it is - a basic explanation of Di Grassi, Saviolo, and Silver, not an advancement of the art. I came to Turner and Soper after many years of trying to work out these moves from the original manuals, and found a frustrating blend of careful analysis of the painfully obvious, further confusion of the already muddled, and utter silence on all my real questions. Serious researchers will be disappointed.
For a first place to begin, it's probably easier and quicker than trying to read the originals. A choreographer interested in pre-digested knowledge will find this book an excellent source.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
An excellent book describing three masters: Giacomo DiGrassi, Vincentio Saviolo; and George Silver. Showing both their methods and techniques as well as the differences between them. From Sovereign Rose, Companie of Lawe: home.earthlink.net/~sirgydion/books.html
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Detailed and scholarly work about which the theorists can argue. Worth reading at least twice if you choreograph fights regularly for someone who is interested in "realistic" portrayal. From The Ring of Steel: [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Featuring period drawings and prints of swordplay, this book examines and compares, the only three existing Elizabethan fencing manuals written in English before 1600: Giacomo Di Grassi's His True Arte of Defense (1594), Vincentio Saviolo's His Practice in Two Bookes (1595), and George Silver's Paradoxes of Defence and Bref Instructions Upon my Paradoxes of Defence (1599). More than a technical manual on swordplay, this book explores the influence of a new form of violence introduced into Elizabethan culture by the invention of the rapier. The authors examine the rapier's influence on the various social classes, the clash between the traditional English fencing masters and those embracing the new style, the growing concern with unregulated dueling, and the frequent references to rapier play in the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. As producer Joseph Papp notes in his Foreword, this is a book that "makes a difference in performance"
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