Methods and Practice of Elizabethan Swordplay
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
Demonstration from Di Grassi comparing cuts and thrusts
Grassis high ward and low ward
Demonstration from Di Grassi of straight pace crooked pace and circular half pace
His Practise in Two Bookes
Saviolos basic stance
Two fighters in Saviolos basic stance prior to attack
Illustration from Saviolo of rapier and dagger
George Silver and His Paradoxes
Determination of perfect sword length as shown by Silver