The full title of this excellent book is “The Army and Navy Gentlemen’s Companion or A New and Complete Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Fencing’ which says all that is really needed in any title. The book is divide into three parts. The first deals with the basics of the Guard, simple parades and thrusts, together with how to hold a sword or foil, and the performance of simple manoeuvres and movements. The second part concerns counter parades, counter disengagements, feints and glizades, and the final part of the book looks at assaults and attacks in general. Like many books of the period it was meant to be both introduction to the subject and a guide to the intricacies of fencing, so that the middle class could gain an insight, and even experience, of the art of fencing, regarded as a gentleman’s sport as well as a method of fighting battle. The book is well illustrated and clearly written, making it a first class source for fencing knowledge, as well as being a publication of its time, and worth reading for that alone.
J Mc Arthur of the Royal Navy
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SB 159pp,19 drawings (full page) 2004 N&MP Reprint of 1780 Original Edition