cover of book

Methods and Practice of Elizabethan Swordplay
by Craig Turner and Tony Soper
foreword by Joseph Papp
Southern Illinois University Press, 1990
Paper: 978-0-8093-3518-3 | Cloth: 978-0-8093-1562-8 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-8215-6
Library of Congress Classification U860.T87 1990
Dewey Decimal Classification 796.860942


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."

Nearby on shelf for Military science (General) / History of arms and armor: