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Records of the Medieval Sword Paperback – May 15, 2015

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Records of the Medieval Sword + The Archaeology of Weapons: Arms and Armour from Prehistory to the Age of Chivalry (Dover Military History, Weapons, Armor) + A Knight and His Weapons
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Boydell Press; Reprint edition (May 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851155669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851155661
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #583,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Hand on January 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ewart Oakeshott was unsurpassed in his understanding of medieval swords. Unlike the majority of weapons curators who focus exclusively on the hilt and try their hardest to pretend that the sword was never a practical tool, he appreciated the whole sword. Oakeshott's typology is based on blade shape, i.e. on how the sword handles and what it can be used for. Because of this Ewart was loved by re-enactors and historical swordsmen who view swords as a beautifully designed tool that comes to life in their hands.

I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to work with Ewart just before his death (editing a paper he submitted to the anthology Spada). Just as he reminded museum curators that the sword was a practical tool, not an art object, he reminded swordsmen that the sword was an important symbol of just might, not just a tool.

Records of the Medieval Sword is the best available book describing medieval swords (though his earlier book The Sword in the Age of Chivalry is also well worth picking up). It has clear photographs of the whole sword, and lists blade lengths. If only it had a few more measurements (weight, blade width at various points, point of balance, centre of percussion etc.) it would be a perfect resource for people who make and use swords but who rarely have the opportunity to hold genuine originals and feel their handling characteristics. Even with this minor omission, this book deserves pride of place in the library of anyone interested in the medieval sword.

Stephen Hand

Author, English Swordsmanship, Medieval Sword and Shield

Editor Spada, Spada II
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Dan Slatten on November 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
Records of the Medieval Sword is a remarkable volume, representing a body of work in the subject area with no equal.
Although the information is provided in an extremely authoritative manner, it is written in a very personable way, leaving this reader with a desire to know (have known?) the author.
If I were to attempt to be overly critical of this book, I would mention that there are a few minor, but still rather annoying, typographical errors and mis-numbered illustrations that detract somewhat from the otherwise masterly scholorship presented in the volume.
Also, in my opinion, a reference such as this should be provided in a hard cover edition, with full color plates wherever possible.
I will treasure this addition to my library.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is full of pictures and data covering the full developement of the Medieval Sword in Europe. It contains the only complete typeology of swords, based on thier blade shape and function. It is written in a very readable form by a man with a genuine enthusiasm for swords, without the usual dry-as-dirt pedantry that is usually associated with books of this type. While by-passing some important data, it is far more comprehensive that any other book of it's type.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
To date this is the only book I know of that covers medieval sword types and shapes with any accuracy and depth.The book is based on existing swords in private collections and museums.I have personally been looking for this book for some time and thankfully it was in stock !
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Meng Kwei Li (irishmusic30@hotmail.com) on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book contains a life-time's work and research of the sword. All the way from the early Scandinavian sword to the swords of the Renaissance and gives full in-depth summary and description on each piece. The author, Ewart Oakeshott is the leading expert of medieval swords and has taught me plenty (if not more) from his previous works. I am satisfied with the latest one here. "Records of the Medieval Sword" is well suited for a sword expert as well as for beginners and is for all to enjoy. The only thing I have to complain is that the binding of the book isnt done very well, but then again it could just be mine only. But then again, it should stop you from purchasing one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
I would consider this the definitive work on the development of the form, design, and construction of the medieval sword. Oakeshott was the foremost authority on the subject, and this work formed the capstone of his career. Anyone with a serious interest in European swords should own this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Lester on January 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're into swords, this is a must have book. It's more than a catolog of styles of medieval swords but also explains the developement of the weapons and how swords and armour influenced each other. It also explains the difficulty in dating a weapon by the style of blade and hilt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David J. Atkinson on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many interesting and useful illustrations, especially of hilts and guards. There are other books which cover some of the same material, but the author is well known for his work in this area and so the quality as a reference source is excellent.
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