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Max Maydanik

Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Joined: 29 Apr 2007

Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2008 12:24 am    Post subject: Request for "In Service of the Duke" review         Reply with quote

I am thinking this book might be an interesting read. Does somebody have it? It looks like it is a bit on the thin side.
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Kenton Spaulding

Location: Connecticut
Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Reading list: 12 books

Posts: 287

PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2008 1:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't have the book, so I can't give you a ton of information on it, but I have flipped through it a bit, and must say it is a stunningly beautiful book. Definitely a book I would love to own. I believe that there are a few member reviews of the book in the bookstore section of the site; however, at the moment I am having difficulty accessing the bookstore. I imagine it should be up and running properly again at anytime though, so I would recommend you search there.

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William Carew

Location: Australia
Joined: 23 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2008 1:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm the proud owner of a copy. It is a gorgeous book. The colour plates are stunning. If you have a serious interest in the Liechtenauer tradition, 15th century art, armour, clothing or fighting, or are just after a collectable or heirloom item, then I can't recommend it enough. Christian's work in the back, placing Kal into the context of the larger tradition, including a brief comparison with other sources, is extremely useful.

By itself, Kal's fechtbuch is probably not suffcient to begin learning swordsmanship in Liechtenauer's tradition. This is because those beautiful coloured plates are accompanied by short, descriptive comments rather than detailed paragraphs or chapters of text. Kal is an excellent visual compliment and companion to texts such as Hs. 3227a (aka Doebringer), Ringeck, von Danzig, Mair and Meyer. Just bear in mind, if you want to learn historical German swordplay, you'll need at least one or more of the text rich sources.



Bill Carew
Jogo do Pau Brisbane
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Bill Grandy
myArmoury Team

myArmoury Team

Location: Northern VA,USA
Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Reading list: 43 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 4,194

PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Max,
You may wish to read this thread:

I absolutely agree with Bill Carew: It's a phenomenal work, though if you're interested in learning Liechtenauer's art, it is more of an auxilary text for after you have already learned through a more text-driven manuscript. On the other hand, if that isn't your main goal (or is a secondary goal), the book is a fantastic testament to medieval art and culture.
-Inspired by History, Crafted by Hand

"For practice is better than artfulness. Your exercise can do well without artfulness, but artfulness is not much good without the exercise. -anonymous 15th century fencing master, MS 3227a
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Craig Peters

PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would recommend In Service of the Duke because it's a high quality facsimile edition, and there's a lot of good introductory material, including information on Paulus Kal himself.
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Max Maydanik

Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Joined: 29 Apr 2007

Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2008 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you, everyone. All your responses have been very helpful. I will ask my wife to give me this book as a Valentines gift.
I have been studying Italian (Fiore) longsword for the last 3 years but I was always intrigued by German technique.
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Ed Toton

Location: Northern VA
Joined: 16 Sep 2005

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 462

PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's definitely worth it. It's a full-size and full-color representation of Paulus Kal's period manuscript, and will likely be the closest you'll ever get to having a period fechtbuch sitting in your home. Even if you just consider it to be a piece of historical art, it's beautiful to display, and the imagery even gives some clues about the clothing and armor of the time in which it was created.
-Ed T. Toton III |
My armor photos on facebook
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Bob Burns

Location: South Indianapolis IN
Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 112 books

Posts: 1,019

PostPosted: Sun 09 Mar, 2008 8:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I got on the waiting list for "In Service of the Duke" in August of 2006, it was 5 or 6 "long" months as I remember before I received my copy. I say "long" months because of how anxious I was to receive my copy. First of all and very important, it's not the thickness or the numbers of pages in a book as I am sure you are very well aware of, and I mention this only to enhance the fact that this is one of those books Exclamation
My 1st cousin Jim Conahan, eldest of my dad's eldest and only sister lives 16 miles from me and as a child (he is 15 yrs 8 months older than me) was always drawing and painting knights, vikings and horses. At age 7, his parents were told by the school he attended, that Jim was so talented in art that he could draw better than the art teachers at the local high school! In All Truth and Without Prejudice, Jim is So Talented that there is no limit as to what he can do, as my wife said a number of times and her perception score in some kind of IQ test she took amongst others (because it was found that her IQ was Very High!) She stated that Rembrandt, Da Vinci, etc., have nothing on my cousin, and she was dead serious! This sounds like crass boasting and a lot of bull, but I tell you in all honesty, it Is the Truth! He was also a helluva football player in high school but knee injuries messed up his college scholarships. Anyway, I mentioned that because it's all part of who and what he is, because he's always loved the medieval knights, crusades, etc., but for many years that all took a back seat until my own awakening led to me re-awakening to his true love! I elaborated on this, because it is relevant, in that not only is he a phenominal artist, but he has a passion for what we love and this all comes together to validate how "Outstanding" this book "In Service of the Duke" really is, and "who" this man is that is calling it a Masterpiece! I apologize for the length but I really was not going off on a tangent, I just want to help you Max and anyone else contemplating the purchase of this book!
Shortly after I received my copy, I showed it to my cousin Jim Conahan, who is also a myArmoury member and by profession is an artist and illustrator, who has had several paintings go on national and international museum tours.
As Jim started reviewing this book, the expression of "Pleased Amazement" grew and grew on his face, then after looking at a couple of dozen pages and investigating the pages in the back of the book where Christian Henry Tobler's Expert analysis is located. Jim said to me, "Bob, this book is of the highest caliber in publishing quality and it is a Masterpiece Exclamation Then he went on explaining to me how they did the illustrations in the book with a camera mount so that the camera was placed directly over the original and that the quality of the camera had to have been of superior quality! This was also when I first learned what the vague images were that looked like some sort of shadows or something bleeding through the paper. Jim explained to me how the original was on parchment and that if I looked on the following page I would see that it was the same image that vaguely showed on the previous page I was viewing. Jim expressed how he was fascinated with the armor, clothing, color of clothing, the fine details, various fighting and dueling positions, the absolute excellence of the paintings depicting the mounted knights.
Then Jim spent some time reading some of the analysis done by Christian Tobler (I'd given him both of Mr. Tobler's Longsword Instruction books as a surprise gift a few months prior, so he knew exactly who he was) and he was totally astounded at the astonishing excellence of Christian Tobler's perfection in explaining everything that was going on in the illustrations.
For instance, if you look at page 55 which depicts Folio 23r at the bottom lateral side of the illustration you will see
"Commentary On Page 209", then by consulting page 209, you see a small black & white copy of the illustration, a title stating what is happening and a complete expert analysis by one of the Best longsword Masters on this planet!

Is this book worth the price and worth buying? In my opinion (for what it's worth Laughing Out Loud ) and the expert opinion of my cousin. Yes, definitely, without hesitation and beyond all doubt, this book is worth every dime and then some!
"In Service of the Duke" is the showpiece of my 110 medieval related library of books.
This book resides on the top of the bookcase which is 6 foot by 32 inches, sitting alone face out in it's jacket.

Thanks for having the patience to read this post, I wanted to help you "Max" and anyone else contemplating this book in making an intelligent decision in buying this book!

Thanks So Much For Reading !


It IS What It IS! Only In Truth, Can Reality Exist!
To "Learn" we must empty our minds and therefore open our mind and spirit. A wet sponge absorbs no water. A preconceived mind is recalcitrant to new knowledge!
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