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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jan, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight and "must haves&q         Reply with quote

I've owned a copy of Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight for a while now, and have read through it a few times. Recently I've come across some information regarding the Fyrd that basically overrules what little the book says about it, and was wondering how valuable of a source it is now? It has been in print for many years, and I figure someone may attempt to create an updated edition eventually. I've given thoughts to taking notes regarding portions of information, printing them out, and papercliping them to related pages in A&AotMK as a sort of "errata".

Additionally, I was wondering what books would be necessary for a "good" collection? I'm hesitant to sink money into worthless and or outdated sources, as I regularly get asked questions regarding weapons and armor and I always try to answer within the best of my ability. Last thing I want to do is be wrong! The knight and the blast furnace has been suggested, so I figure that would be a very good source, as well as "The Anglo Saxon Shield", which I would like though it is well out of my price range right now.

M.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2009 2:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been meaning to respond to this one for a while. Sorry I haven't done so sooner.

You're running into the great problem of arms and armour publication. Happy I've put together a decent-sized library (though not large) and most of the titles are out of print. And they're aging in terms of their info--some faster than others. That applies to Oakeshott, the Edge/Paddock book, Claude Blair, etc.

There must not be a large market for arms and armour books. What profitable market there is probably more interested in very (very) general surveys and lots of glossy pics. That's not most of us. So publishers aren't putting out much. What they are putting out are often expensive glorified picture books like Carlo Paggiarino's recent Churburg and Wallace Collection catalogues. They're great (fantastic, actually), but they are limited in textual value. They help make up for that with terrific detail photos.

There is scholarly research going on, but that stuff is published more in journals than in widely available books. What books are being published are done in limited editions and usually at high cost (think Waldman's polearm book and Mazansky's baskethilt book).

What is being published a lot more these days are facsimiles of manuscripts and some manuals to go with them. These are valuable and I'm glad they're available.

You have SPADA-type anthologies and Park Lane Arms Fair catalogues, but those are article-driven more than being a single work devoted to a single subject.

A chunk (not all) of today's active crawl-through-a-bunch-of-dusty-museums researchers work for sword makers or are sword makers and their research is not done for publication purposes but for product research. So we may not see much published from them, even if there were a market for books of that nature.

Looking at my library shelves, most books are at least 10 years old; many are much older. If you're interested in topics like brasses and effigies, most of the sources are decades old. Some over a century. And there hasn't been much published ont he subject since. It's frustrating.

So what do we do? Happy

Well, I like to try to have as many sources at my disposal as possible. That way you can cross-check them and try to see which conclusion is more valid.

If you have access to JStor or some other journal archive, you can look up more recent stuff that may not be available elsewhere.

Chivalry Bookshelf is doing some great things, both with manuscripts and with reprints of things like the Wisby book. Maybe they'll expand their lineup.

Who knows?

Happy

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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Wed 04 Feb, 2009 4:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unfortunately Chad is right, anymore it doesn't matter what the field, if a book is in any way "historical scholarly" it doesn't get much of a print run anymore and stuff can sell out rather quickly (assuming you can even get published which is a big if) - even some Chivalry titles are basically out of copies now.

compounding this problem is that in many technical disciplines, and at the Universities, there is a perverse incentive to publish many short journal articles than spend many years putting together one book. reviews are done annually / biannually and you need to show that you have published in the interim. also when it comes to maintaining professional registrations for say a P.E. in engineering, you get credited the same whether you have written a 10 page journal article or a 500 page authoritative well researched book. doesn't make sense but thats the way it has developed in the past 20 years........

Now back to the original question, I would peruse the reading and library lists of folks here at MA. Lots of good ideas and some great reviews there! It all depends on your period and subject matter of most interest to you. Nathan has even made it really easy with a clickable link to people's reading list underneath their avatar. tr
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Feb, 2009 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. How valid is Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight these days?

I think it might be time for us to begin a collaborative project to compile data that's hard to get these days. Most of the books I am after are way out of my price range (The Visby one is well over 100, and the Saxon one is even more expensive. The blast furnace is over 200 last I saw!).

M.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Feb, 2009 10:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
Thanks for the replies. How valid is Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight these days?


I think it's still pretty good. Some sections are likely better than others.

Quote:
I think it might be time for us to begin a collaborative project to compile data that's hard to get these days.


That would be great. Happy

Happy

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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 1:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It would, but I'm not sure if anyone here really has the time. I'd donate what little time I do have to it, but my knowledge is far, far outreached by most of the bigger names here. I'm also working on a rather heavy project revolving around some fictional work I'm knee-deep in. Incidentally, mA is mentioned in the credits.

M.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 4:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M.,

There are a number of issues here at work. Part of the issue is A&A is very general. It is not a very long work either. I find the Hussite section pretty bad and a bit off, almost exactly the same as Omans important but often flawed volume on medieval warfare.

The new military techniques book is pretty good as something to supplement this. I think it has more reliable info but still suffers from the fact it is a general view. It is also very well rounded by having so many well researched and informed authors

In the end your best bet is getting more into academic works. Many Journals are not online and have discounts for people who get E-copies. As Thom said though there is little push in academia for books as it is generally just to publish and time wise a books is way, way more time and money involved. You also have a hard time as it is easier to get a publisher to do a million journal articles. That said several people do write books, Cliff Rogers, Kelly DeVries, Anne Curry, M. Strickland. The books are out there it is just finding what you are looking for. Id check out the DeVries book Norwegian Invasion of 1066 for info on the Fyrd.

Chad,

Id be up to helping in a few months once I finish my beloved PhD, get somewhat settled (hopefully employed) and my next child is born.

RPM
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What's your PhD in?

M.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would agree that folks like DeVries and Curry are turning out great historical research. But the same can't be said about arms and armour specific titles, unfortunately. We just don't have authors and publishers putting that kind of stuff out right now.

The Edge/Paddock book, while not without its flaws, is still what I consider a must-have. There are so few titles out there in general. Many are even more expensive and hard to find than Edge/Paddock. As a general title with an above average availability-to-cost ratio for an arms and armour book, it's hard to beat.

Oakeshott is better for swords. Blair is better for armour. But Edge/Paddock is a good start for both and one of the better general topic books in my opinion.

Happy

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M.,

Medieval Hist./, Arch., I hope to be done by June/July.

Chad,

I agree it is a must have even if just for some of the neat pictures. There are many books in this footing. Oman;s for example is one. Much is way out of date but it is still a important step in the context of military history. Blair's work is likely the one I think is central though to arms and armour.

RPM
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 1:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Chad,

I agree it is a must have even if just for some of the neat pictures. There are many books in this footing. Oman;s for example is one. Much is way out of date but it is still a important step in the context of military history. Blair's work is likely the one I think is central though to arms and armour.

RPM


If Blair could have published a book that combined his European Armour book with his European and American Arms book, we'd really have something. Happy

I like Edge/Paddock because it's a good intro to both topics.

Happy

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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 7:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
M.,

Medieval Hist./, Arch., I hope to be done by June/July.

Chad,

I agree it is a must have even if just for some of the neat pictures. There are many books in this footing. Oman;s for example is one. Much is way out of date but it is still a important step in the context of military history. Blair's work is likely the one I think is central though to arms and armour.

RPM


Now that's a lofty title indeed! I considered switching over to education, to teach Ancient through to medieval history, but I've heard that the job market is insanely flooded with people like that. I'll have to get in touch with you some time so I can ask just how much is involved in obtaining a doctoral degree in such a massive field.

M.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad,

That is true. A combined version of his books would be nice.

M.,

To be fair, excluding this year of 2009, I have not noticed the job market as being that bad. Even now there are jobs around for an ancient-medieval in the form of Western and World Civilizations though not as many in number, especially in full time positions from at least the last few years. I am thinking because the lapse in term times between European and American schools I might have to find something in between as I am not sure I will be awarded my degree by August when I would need to start. Most schools here start in October.

RPM
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Feb, 2009 1:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I may go for it; I've heard that Salisbury has a good program for history education.

The first issue of the Mail Research Society's journal is very informative; can't wait for the next one. I've yet to read anything better about maille.

M.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Feb, 2009 1:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
The first issue of the Mail Research Society's journal is very informative; can't wait for the next one. I've yet to read anything better about maille.


Is the ARS still doing anything actively? Will they be releasing another journal? It's been quite a long time.

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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Feb, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They are, actually. I think it poped up in a thread here or on SFI, which is actually the reason I even know they exist. The first copy's free now, and the second is set at 20USD, due out in a few months.

M.

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 08 Feb, 2009 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The ARS (Armour Research Society) and the MRS (Mail Research Society) are different organisations. Both have had one journal publication. I don't know how far away the next ARS journal is but Erik is currently taking orders for the 2nd issue of the MRS journal. IIRC it will be devoted entirely to the armour erroneously named "Lorica Plumata" - Roman scale armour fixed to a mail backing. Erik has been working on a very nice reconstruction. He is trying to get pre-orders to help offset the printing cost. Anyone interested should go here to order one.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Feb, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan, thank you for the clarification. I didn't know that the MRS still existed so I wrongly assumed Mr. Eversberg was talking about the ARS.
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2009 2:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vice versa on my end: I've never heard of the ARS so I thought you where talking about the MRS. I will have to check on the ARS guys.

M.

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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2009 4:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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