Weapons of Warre: The Armaments of the Mary Rose Slp Har/Dv Edition
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Colin Martin, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 2012
The ship was a weapons platform carrying a variety of armaments designed to complement each other and present a multi-layered weapons system. All of these are copiously illustrated with photographs, technical drawings and instructions for their use, and anyone buying the two-volume work also receives a DVD with many more line drawings and photographs, plus documentary film on the building and firing of wrought-iron and bronze replica guns at the Royal Armouries.'
Christopher Catling, SALON - The Society of Antiquaries Online Newsletter No. 259, No. 256, 6 June 2011
The authors of these essays are leaders in their own fields and the quality of writing is exceptional. It is complimented by a plethora of high quality photographs and detailed line drawings that portray the wide variety of weaponry recovered from the ship. The icing on the cake is a DVD with many more line drawings and photographs, plus documentary film on the building and firing of wrought-iron and bronze replica guns at the Royal Armouries.'
Classic Arms and Militaria Oct/Nov 2011
"...[Ships and Guns and Weapons of Warre] importantly advance current perspectives on naval armaments in the late and post Renaissance eras. They are copiously illustrated and annotated, making them major resources for further research and as reference points for archaeologists and historians. Both of them are absolutely essential items on the bookshelves of any serious student of early modern naval technological history."
Robert Desmoulins, Caumont-sur-Durance, Nautical Research Journal 57:4 (December 2012)
"...provided a monumental amount of information that should prove useful to historians, archaeologists and those interested in maritime, naval, or history of technology."
Amy Mitchell-Cook, Pensacola, FL, The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord Vol XXII, No. 2 (April 2012)
- Publisher : The Mary Rose Trust; Slp Har/Dv edition (March 1, 2010)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 1000 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0954402936
- ISBN-13 : 978-0954402938
- Item Weight : 4.15 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.75 x 2.75 x 12.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,686,026 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I have two of the other large volumes on other aspects of the ship and her crew and a number of the more ordinary sized Mary Rose books and articles. They were very well done, as is this pair (in a nice slipcase).
A member of the Society of Archer-Antiquaries with a substantial collection of books and articles on similar subjects.
Doing research on historical English archery and these books were pretty much the meat and potatoes for my information. AMAZING books!
Top reviews from other countries
The first of these two volumes is mostly concerned with the ship mounted guns (the 'Great guns'). It describes the bronze cannon, culverin, sakers and falcons before moving on to detail the intriguingly named wrought iron types- port pieces, slings, fowlers, bases and top pieces, then finally there are descriptions of the cast hailshot pieces. If you ever wondered what all these mysterious guns were really like, here 'all is revealed'! Further on, there comes a mass of detail about shot types, powders, primers, linstocks and much more. There are many photographs and drawings, and the latter include reconstructions showing guns as they originally appeared on their carriages. It is also made clear how those carriages were constructed and how they were 'worked' when in the ship. There are a lot of reference code numbers to identify the items, but overall the text is quite accessible for the more general reader.
Of particular interest are the descriptions of newly made examples of a culverine, port piece and hailshot piece. These were test fired, and the more 'modern' bronze gun gave a maximum velocity of over 1,600 feet/second, which is more than was achieved by many heayy guns made in the 1880's! The superiority of the bronze cast gun was very clear- as was the danger involved in actually firing a 'built up' chambered gun at all! Personally though, I believe 16th century powder was far inferior to any powder made today and burned much more slowly, thus making built up guns safer to use whilst, amongst cast guns, the long barrels of culverine types would have provided a superior 'point blank' range: even an additional 20 yards would have been considered significant at the time.
In similar style to volume one, the second volume covers incendiary devices, hand guns and then presents a long and fascinating section on archery: this is followed by descriptions and drawings of pikes, halberds, swords, armour, and so on. There is an interesting chapter about fighting the ship, which emphasizes the importance of arcs of fire- these being nicely shown through illustrations. It seems Mary Rose was not actually 'overloaded' with ordinance as regards total weight, but its actual distribution in the ship may have caused problems. Both of these fascinating volumes are about 500 pages long.
Efforts are made to show where the huge number of items were positioned in the ship, but I'm tired of seeing that same old isometric diagram of the wrecked hull that appears in every book about the Mary Rose! More illustrations reconstructing the hull and superstructure to show where and how guns and other things were carried would have been welcome. However, this is not a significant critism of this book, which makes a great effort to show what things really looked like and how they worked. To this end, volume two includes a short colour section and there is even a DVD. The latter shows excavations in 2003 and also the test firing of the reconstructed guns. There are many charts and graphs: these can look rather daunting but are actually very interesting- some compare Mary Rose and her armament with other ships in King Henry's navy.
Although Alexzandra Hildred edited this book it is really the work of literally dozens of people over a twenty year period. I'm particularly impressed by the drawings, for which it seems Peter Crossman deserves most credit. Though the publication date is 2011 I have the impression that not very many will be produced, so I suspect it's best to buy this magnum opus whilst it is still in print- in the future large three figure sums may be demanded for good used copies. I notice that already secondhand examples are being offered for about £75.
But I would say its more a reference book than one you would take on holiday :-)