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Irish Swordsmanship: Fencing and Dueling in Eighteenth Century Ireland Paperback – October 12, 2017
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About the Author
BEN MILLER is an American filmmaker and author. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, was the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant for screenwriting, and has worked for notable personages such as Martin Scorsese and Roger Corman. For the last twelve years, Miller has studied fencing at the Martinez Academy of Arms, one of the last places in the world still teaching an authentic living tradition of classical fencing. He has served as the Academy’s chef de salle, and has authored articles for the Association of Historical Fencing, focusing on the fencing and dueling of the American colonial period. He is the editor of "Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies: A Nineteenth-Century Treatise on Boxing, Kicking, Grappling, and Fencing with the Cane and Quarterstaff" (Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2015), containing the writings of the noted duelist and fencing master, Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery. He wrote the foreword to the republication of Donald McBane’s classic martial arts treatise, "The Expert Sword-Man's Companion: Or the True Art of Self-Defence" (New York: Jared Kirby Rare Books, 2017). Miller’s articles about fencing and martial arts history can be found on the websites martialartsnewyork.org and outofthiscentury.wordpress.com.
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Miller provides both detail and insight into the dueling culture of eighteenth-century Ireland, explaining what factors fueled that culture even as he allows the historical voices to speak in their own words via voluminous quoting. He then provides biographical sketches on several of the most important duelists. Along the way, he offers up rare images of duels, fencing, and swordsmanship. The book closes with the anonymously published and heretofore largely unknown treatise "A Few Mathematical and Critical Remarks on the Sword"; Miller does intriguing detective work to suggest a possible solution to the mystery of who the author could be.
This book should appeal to historians as well as fencers, shedding light on important aspects of swordsmanship and dueling in the English-speaking world.