Wednesday, 8 December 2010

GENERAL INTEREST: The Spirit of the Sword - Steve Shackleford

Release Date: 08/10/10


Live the Legend. Feel the SteelSteeped in lore and legend, swords evoke images of samurai swordsmen, knights in shining armor, the glint of hardened steel, the charge of mounted cavalry. Spirit of the Word is a stunning visual journey through the history of the simplest and greatest weapon ever devised.

# More than 300 detailed photos of swords throughout the centuries and from around the world
# Scenes from the ancient swordmaking capitals of Europe
# The magic of the Japanese sword, including a profile of Yoshindo Yoshihara, the world's greatest living swordsmith
# Swords on the Big Screen: a cinematic exploration of sword mythology

For the historian, for the collector, for the edged weapon enthusiast, Spirit of the Sword is the perfect one-volume guide to the history and mystique of the world's long blades. From, fascinating information on the history of swords from around the world to helpful tips on collecting and displaying swords, you'll find in Spirit of the Sword.


Many people are interested in weaponry and whilst a lot of people’s passion is for the more recent development and the projectile, there’s a purist selection of people who prefer the more refined edge and combat of a sword. Here in this offering by Steve Shackleford (editor of Blade) is a who’s who of the sword-smithing world (although mainly American with the odd European added) as well as sections on sword-smithing, how its developed over time as well as a few other snippets of interest.

Add to this a wonderful selection of photography of various smiths work and it’s a delightful example of the ancient skills that are being lost to a more modern world. Each rather than just being functional, is a weapon of artistry as well as one crafted not only sweat and tears but usually blood. The only real change that I’d have made with this title would have been to have more European smiths added, for example Simon Fearnhamm of Raven Armoury, who not only makes weaponry for the public but also is utilised by the Royal Armouries who has been completely missed. All in a great title however and with a bit more research could well become the most authoritative voice out there.

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