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In Service of the Duke (The 15th Century Fighting Treatise of Paulus Kal)
by Christian Henry Tobler
Over Sized Limited Leather Edition with English Translations and Slipcase.
* RECOMMENDED *
This is without a doubt the nicest reproduction of a fencing manuscript I've ever seen, medieval or otherwise. First off, the pages are HUGE, showing of the truly beautiful, full color artwork. The detail in each of the images is wonderful: You can really get a good look at the details of the clothing, armour, and decorations that each person is wearing, making this a wonderful resource for studying 15th century fashion.
The translation is very clear, and while Paulus Kal's book is not as detailed in text as Ringeck or von Danzig, it still fills in a number of holes that other treatises don't purely because of the great images. To paraphrase Greg Mele, this book is what we wished Talhoffer was. :) Furthermore, it has Christian's commentaries and interpretations of the individual plates in the back of the book, making this more than just a reprint. For those of us studying the Liechtenauer tradition of martial arts, this book is invaluable.
And yet it doesn't matter if you don't study specifically the Liechtenauer tradition of fencing. It doesn't even matter if you study swordsmanship at all, really. This book is a wonderfully faithful reproduction of a work of art that can really give us another window into the 15th century, and for that the book is worth every last cent. If you're interested in medieval history, medieval fashion, medieval armour, or even medieval art, this book is incredibly valuable.
Updated Mar 8, 2007 :: 2 of 3 members found this review helpful