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Armour and Weapons in the Middle Ages by…
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Armour and Weapons in the Middle Ages (1925)

by Charles Henry Ashdown

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I really do hate to give ANY book a 1 start rating. In fact, I think this may be the first one that I have done so to. After thinking on it, the only reason I gave it 1 star is because I recently read another work by Mr. Ashdown, gave it 2 stars, and reading this one was like reliving some sort of horrible nightmare! I really believe that if I had recognized the author's name in time I would not have even purchased this book, let alone read it.
I went back and re-read my review of said previous work by Mr. Ashdown and realized that I could basically copy and paste it here without finding new ways to discourage one from reading it. That is how dreadfully similar the two works are (and I suspect ANYTHING written by Mr. Ashdown to be). So here goes with some small changes:
Pros: Chronology and categories are very well organized.
That was quick, now the cons.
Cons: Mr. Ashdown should be taken only in small doses.
He uses slightly outdated terms in relation to armor pieces despite the book's recent publication.
Mr. Ashdown seems to be able to tell if an armor piece is made from cuir boulli or steel just by looking at it's representation in a centuries-old manuscript, stained glass window or funeral brass.
Has an obsession with something called "banded mail". I HAVE REFERRED TO THIS SUBJECT AS THE "BIGFOOT" OF ARMOR STUDY. AVOID LIKE THE PLAUGE! I've come across the term a few times in a dozen books, most never even mentioning it. The consensus seems to be that it either never existed or was very rare at best. Yet he finds it everywhere in illustrations, not considering the artist's representative methods may not have been very accurate.
At least half the book is just a study of monumental brasses and effigies as it is anything. Very tedious reading unless this is your main area of study.
I know these points could be confusing, but once one sat down and started reading this work, they would instantly recognize what I am talking about. This is really a simply boring and odd book. ( )
  Poleaxe | Apr 27, 2010 |
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The sources of our knowledge respecting the military equipment of our Saxon forefathers are almost wholly derived from

(a) the contents of Saxon arrows, or burying places

(b) the writings of the period

(c) the illuminations in Saxon manuscripts.
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