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Alfred Hutton (1839–1910)

Author of Old Sword Play: Techniques of the Great Masters

11 Works 310 Members 2 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Alfred Hutton

Works by Alfred Hutton


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Anyone interested in historical weaonsor the art otf fancing will want to own this classic study of swordsmanship in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Written in the late nineteenth centruy iby a British officer, antiquarian, andnoted scholar of the sword,the work owas intended to provide miitay men with eessential training inthe art and science of fencing.

Drawing upon the methods used by master swordsmen over three centuries, Hutton presented the tactics of the ancient masters in a form comprehensible to swordsmen of his own day. HIs extsnsive, detailed instructions cover the use of the two-hand sword, rapier and dagger, broadswrod and buckler, rapier and cloak, and dagger and cloak.

Cmplemented by nearly 60 illustrations, including instructive diagrams and rare woodcuts of classic fencing positions, this excellent introduction and its valuable information will be welcomed by scholars, theatrical directors, and sword-play enthusiasts alike. The book will also appeal to general audiences and anyone interested in an ancient form of self-defense still regarded by many as an art form and recreational pursuit.

Unabridged Dover (2002) republication of the edition pubished by H. Grevel & Co. (London); B. Westermann & Co. (New York), 1892. New Foreword to the Dover Edition by Ramon Martinez, President, Association for Historical fencing. 59 black-and-white illustrations. xiv 93pp. 6 /2 x 9 1/2. Paperbound.


Chapter I Introduction
Chapter II The two-hand sword
Cahpter III Rapier and dagger
Chapter IV Broadsword and buckler
Chapter V Rapier and cloak
Chapter VI Dagger and cloak
Chapter VII The case of rapiers
Chapter VIII
The transition period
Chapter IX The Eighteenth century
… (more)
AikiBib | May 29, 2022 |
Althought 'the pen is mightier than the sword' is an unassailable axiom, in Alfred Hutton's handsome book the sword is mighty hard to beat from the standpoint of interest, illustration, and anecdote. Hutton, in fact, comes right to the point in his discussion of the Age of Chivalry, in which the knightly weapons consisted chiefly of the lance, the axe, and the sword, with the shield for defense in addition to body armor. Scintillating accounts of both combats a cortoisie and combats a outrance exemplify the use of these weapons, 'the ancient method and usage of duels before the king,' or judicial combats, reproduces an old manuscript that sets forth in great detail the ceremony observed on such occasions between kightly opponents.

The Sword and the Centuries proves that the lore of the sword is part of the lure of history. This history of the sword goes back to its earliest form, presenting its subsequent changes and developments, up to its 'most perfect state' at the beginning of the twentieth century. In addition to the encounters described and thier underlying circumstances, The Sword and the Centuries explains points of ettiquette that clearly illustrate the remarkable social conditions under which men lived and died by the sword. Under one king alone no less than 4,000 French gentlemen lost their lives in private quarrels.

Copiously illustrated, The Sword and the Centuries is a gilt-edged collector's item, crammed to the hilt with swordplay and serious study.

'The momentous hour has arrived; the pair of combatants appear on the grounds attended by their seconds, when Matthews, even on the field itself, makes use of every tricky excuse that he can imagine to postpone the duel. Sheridan tells him that he is trifling, and bids him come to business at once. Matthews, stung by the taunts of his enemy, at last draws his sword; they take up their positions, and at a word from one of the seconds they cross blades. Coward as Matthews is, he has some skill at fence. several fierce thrusts are exchanged and are cleverly parried on both sides, when in his eagerness, he overlunges himself, a mistake by which Sheridan profits. He parries strongly, seizes his enemy's sword by the forte with his left hand, wrenches it away from him, and strikes up his heels, thus giving him a heavy fall. He has the slanderer now at his mercy, and the latter, with Sheridan's point at his throat, begs that his life may be spared, and signs a complete confession and retraction of the calumnies which he had circulated. Sheridan, having secured the written confession, departs at once for Bath, where he takes measures to make it as widely known as possible.'-from The Sword and the Centuries


List of illustrations
Book I the age of chivalry
I How the Lord of Ternant and the Spanish Esquire Galoiot de Balthasin fought on foot and on horseback for knightly honour
II How the good knight Jacques de Lalain and the English Esquire Thomas Que fought with the great axe
III How two tailors fought to the death with shield and cudgel
IV How the good knight Sans Peur et sans Reproche fought in the lists with the Estoc against the Spaniard Sotomaior, and slew him
V How the Baron d'Aguerre fought with the lord of Fendilles with the Bastard Sword, and what came of it
VI The two-hand sword
VII Of the sword and buckler, and how the Sieur de Jarnac fought in the lists iwth the Lord of Chastaigneraie and how he slew him
VIII The ancient method and usage of duels before the king
Book II The period of the rapier
IX The rapier and its auciliaries
X Of certain of the evils which arose form the vow of Henri II
XI How the admirable Crichton fought with an Italian Bravo at single repier and slew him, and how afterwards he was slain with unfair advantage
XII Of chivalrous amenities among the rapier men
XIII Of the dagger
XIV A Merrie Pranke of Long Meg of Westminster, and how she vanquished a Spanish knight with her sword and buckler
XV Of the two swords, or the 'case of repiers'
XVI Of further inconvenients which ensued from the rash vow of Henri II of France
XVII Touching what resulted from the duel of the Mignons
XVIII Greoge Silver, gentlemean
XIX The reign of Richelieu
XX Thw sword of justice
Book III The period of transition
XXI The Flamberge and the early small sword
XXII The 'Colichemarde'
XXIII The small sword
XXIV Three famous fencers
Book IV The prize-players and the prize-fighters
XXV The prizes and their players
XXVI The 'gladiating' prize-fighter
XXVII The broadsword
Book V the Nineteenth Centruy
XXVIII The duelling sword
XXIX The sabre
XXX Cudgeling-backswording-singlestick
… (more)
AikiBib | May 29, 2022 |


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Associated Authors

Mark Rector Introduction
Cyril G. R. Matthey Introduction
Paul Hilts Introduction
Ramon Martinez Introduction


½ 3.5

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