Medieval Combat: A Fifteenth-Century Manual of Swordfighting and Close-Quarter Combat

Hans Talhoffer, Author, Mark Rector, Editor Greenhill Books $29.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-85367-418-1
In 1467, Talhoffer, a Swabian fencing instructor, produced a lavishly illustrated fechtbuch (""fight-book"") with 270 illuminations demonstrating techniques for nearly every weapon in the medieval knight's arsenal, as well as techniques for judicial combats between nobles and between peasants. Although long available in German, this is the first English translation of his remarkable how-to. Profusely illustrated--here in black and white--the book offers freeze-frame instructions on medieval martial arts using swords, shields, poleaxes, daggers and wrestling, both on foot and on horseback. Its repeatedly drawn figures are lifelike and even emotive, grimacing in pain or frowning with fierce determination. Many of the plates do not demonstrate step-by-step techniques, preserving instead images of a bout at the moment when one technique has prevailed over another. Without a contemporary instructor as a guide, the drawings can seem arcane and confusing, since they lack explanatory captions. Rector, a founder of the Chicago Swordplay Guild, does provide an introduction and footnotes, and along the way gives practical clarification of German martial arts and a harsh, complex picture of medieval society (particularly medieval justice), if not of specific moves. Aside from their historical merit, Talhoffer's beautiful and austere illustrations provide a visual vocabulary of historical combat that might prove inspirational for directors, artists, re-enactors or stunt coordinators; others should not be surprised to find themselves posing in front of the nearest mirror. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 317 pages - 978-1-85367-582-9
Hardcover - 317 pages - 978-1-85367-706-9
Paperback - 317 pages - 978-1-84832-770-2
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.