Review: L.O.T.E.L.

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Review: L.O.T.E.L.

Postby Dithyrambus » 24 Nov 2010 04:42

I received a copy of Lessons on the English Longsword recently and so far I have really enjoyed it and it was nice to see Schola Gladiatoria and Matt Easton mentioned in the introduction. Anyone else have a copy? Any thoughts, comments?
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Re: L.O.T.E.L.

Postby admin » 24 Nov 2010 12:29

I have a copy, but due to having so many other things on my plate I haven't been able to properly go through it yet. I really like the layout though - it looks set out exactly how it should be, and for anyone interested in English longsword I'd say it has to be an essential buy (whether you agree with the contents or not).

I like swords more than you.
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Re: L.O.T.E.L.

Postby Motley » 21 Jan 2011 22:24

Any one got any more thoughts? I keep meaning to get a copy but haven't got around to it yet. Too much else on the list.
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Re: L.O.T.E.L.

Postby Jonathan Waller » 25 Jan 2011 00:48

I have it but as yet have only skimmed through it, production looks good.
More later!
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Re: L.O.T.E.L.

Postby Stevie T » 07 Jan 2013 14:21

I have recently aquired a copy of this so I thought I'd drop by and give my opinion. I will not go into whether I agree with their precise interpretation as interpretations of the early English sources will always be highly personal.

However, I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with the work in general. They include a "lexicon" of terms used within the various MS, but provide absolutely no sources to back up why they have chosen their precise meanings. As there is no historical glossa for the terms, and many are used within every day usage of the periods, some sort of justification really is needed as to why they chose one interpretation of a word over another.

I have also noted that they mis reference several of the masters, not only Ledall and Harley, but also Silver.

The photographic layout of the various plays and actions also leaves something to be desired. Images on the same page are of various sizes with accompanying text being tagged on at the bottom of each image with no regard to how it meshes with other images, all making rather difficult to follow. The 'distance' between fighters on many of the images is horrendous and the fighters are so static that it really is difficult to tell what is going on.

One of the initial problems anyone will have with interpreting the early English sources is the lack of guard positions mentioned, let alone defining what they may be. LOTEL over comes this by creating guards which they name in accordance with their interpretation, however, they don't really explain that these are essentially made up.

One point in regard to the interpretation I will make is that these guys are very big into the whole "pan-european" tradition and so they have gone with interpretations where each English technique appears to be directly correspondant to techniques that appear in either the German or Italian traditions, or both.
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