Methods and Practice of Elizabethan Swordplay

Front Cover
SIU Press, Jun 11, 1990 - Performing Arts - 139 pages
0 Reviews

Featuring period drawings and prints of swordplay, this book examines and compares three 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."

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Figures
20
Giacomo Di
22
Demonstration from Di Grassi comparing cuts and thrusts
30
Grassis high ward and low ward
31
Demonstration from Di Grassi of straight pace crooked pace and circular half pace
35
His Practise in Two Bookes
52
Saviolos basic stance
59
Two fighters in Saviolos basic stance prior to attack
60
Illustration from Saviolo of rapier and dagger
72
George Silver and His Paradoxes
78
Determination of perfect sword length as shown by Silver
96
Bibliography
129
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1990)

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.

Bibliographic information