This most unusual book is subtitled Being a Study in the Development of weapons and Appliances of Offence from the Earliest Times to the Age of Gunpowder. It surveys, in considerable detail and with numerous drawings and illustrations, the art and means of aggression developed by man beginning with the bare hand or fist and then the fist reinforced by such appliances as the cestus of Roman times and the knuckleduster of the more enlightened age. From here it moves on to simple, unshafted, hand-held weapons designed for bruising and ripping – clubs, stones etc. The next stage is ‘reinforcing the arm’, the development of hafted weapons and attachment of weapon heads to shafts – tha axe and adze type and the ball and thong such as the bola. These are categorized as striking weapons. Then come the pointed weapons – flint and metal daggers, spears, tridents and the like. So we are taken on a stage by stage journey through the whole range of weaponry – grappling hooks, cutting weapons, throwing spears, javelins, harpoons, catapults, blowpipes and the means of throwing or discharging them. The sheer variety of means of dealing aggressively with your opponent, when they are spelled out in detail, is remarkable, and there are many odd looking weapons illustrated. In the detailed study and analysis of its subject this book can have no rival.
by H.S Cowper
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2001 reprint (original pub 1906). SB. xviii + 312pp with 356 b/w illus