New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singlestick

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New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singlestick

Postby KeithFarrell » 21 Oct 2014 19:19

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Available to purchase through the Corsair's Wares online store and my Amazon.co.uk store.

I am delighted to announce that my new book is now available: "Scottish Broadsword and British Singlestick".

This book is an introduction to the history, use and context of the Scottish basket-hilted broadsword. As part of the Academy of Historical Arts Study Guide series, it is intended to serve as a study guide for practitioners of historical fencing who work with this weapon, or who would like to begin learning its style. Instructors will also find it helpful as it provides plenty of contextual information to use for illustrating lessons, and anecdotes to help students engage with the system.

Contained within is all the information required for self-study of two fascinating disciplines, Scottish broadsword and British singlestick, with salient points for study for people who do not have the luxury of regular access to a teacher. For practitioners who do receive regular tuition, this book will not replace input from your teacher, but will instead supplement it and offer a greater awareness and understanding of the context of the art that you study.

Book Details:
- Author: Keith Farrell
- Publisher: Fallen Rook Publishing
- Date of Publication: 20th October 2014
- ISBN: 978-0-9926735-1-2
- Binding: Perfect-Bound Paperback
- Pages: 354
- Height: 22.86 cm
- Width: 15.24 cm
- Language: English

For just now, it is available to purchase through the Corsair's Wares online store and my Amazon.co.uk store.
Last edited by KeithFarrell on 29 Jan 2015 22:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby KeithFarrell » 21 Oct 2014 19:19

And I am delighted to announce that Purpleheart Armoury will be distributing these books in the USA. Taking into account printing and shipping time, it should be 1-2 weeks before they arrive ready for US orders.
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby MEversbergII » 21 Oct 2014 23:36

Fantastic! I might pick up a copy once classes are out for the semester.

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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby HPFlashman » 13 Nov 2014 22:59

What would an estimated breakdown in percentage in the book of the different systems be ?

Not very interested in the Scottish Broadsword, per se, but the Singlestick, oh yes, rather keen... :D
Best regards,

Harry

"Singlestick, then may be looked upon as a gentle exercise, suitable for the early middle age" C. Phillips-Wolley
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby KeithFarrell » 14 Nov 2014 11:51

HPFlashman wrote:What would an estimated breakdown in percentage in the book of the different systems be ?

Not very interested in the Scottish Broadsword, per se, but the Singlestick, oh yes, rather keen... :D


I would say that about 45% of the book involves general history and context. About 20% is about singlestick. Around 35% is about broadsword.

Although singlestick isn't the biggest portion of the book (roughly 70 out of 350 pages), it is still as far as I know the only comprehensive study in print so far. I did look to see if I could find anything else about singlestick in print, and the literature is somewhat lacking. I expect that I'm missing a lot of information due to the amount of information that is clearly NOT in print, or at least not generally available, but at least this should stand as the first step forward to allow other people with access to further information to publish more about the subject in the future.

I think it is worth the purchase even if only for the singlestick chapter - this is exactly the information I have been after for the last several years, and would happily have bought such a book myself to get at those 70 pages about singlestick!
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby Carletto » 14 Nov 2014 20:46

Congrats!
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby Carletto » 14 Nov 2014 20:46

Congrats!
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby HPFlashman » 15 Nov 2014 01:00

Thanks for the clarification as to content, Keith.

The Amazon shop will not sell me a copy of the book, something to do with the shipping adress, which is in Norway. Dont know what thats all about, but no dice. :shock:

Update, ordering from Corsair was a breeze, though... :mrgreen: Now to check the mailbox and tapping my feet, waiting... :wink:
Best regards,

Harry

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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby KeithFarrell » 15 Nov 2014 23:31

HPFlashman wrote:Thanks for the clarification as to content, Keith.

The Amazon shop will not sell me a copy of the book, something to do with the shipping adress, which is in Norway. Dont know what thats all about, but no dice. :shock:

Update, ordering from Corsair was a breeze, though... :mrgreen: Now to check the mailbox and tapping my feet, waiting... :wink:


Strange about Amazon. But then, they regularly do strange things.

I took your book to the post office earlier today, although it will be Monday morning before it will start moving towards you. However, hopefully it will reach you at some point during the coming week!
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby HPFlashman » 16 Nov 2014 01:09

Splendid, much obliged. :D Having something to look forward to, other than correcting the mid-term exams then. :mrgreen:
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Harry

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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby KeithFarrell » 29 Jan 2015 22:34

Would anyone who has read this book be willing to write a review about it? I have only heard a couple of informal comments so far (positive, needless to say!) and I would really like to have some written reviews towards which to point people!
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby Robin Plunder » 01 Feb 2015 01:32

Keith,

I just bought the book - waiting for it to arrive
I'll have a read and would be happy to post my thoughts on the book - In this thread perhaps?

I don't have any prior experience in martial arts or HEMA. I have only recently decided to take it up as a hobby and hopefully if I can get enough people around me interested, start a study group this year. I don't have access to teachers where I live so a comprehensive guide covering basics is a godsend for me.
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby KeithFarrell » 01 Feb 2015 13:39

Robin Plunder wrote:Keith,

I just bought the book - waiting for it to arrive
I'll have a read and would be happy to post my thoughts on the book - In this thread perhaps?

I don't have any prior experience in martial arts or HEMA. I have only recently decided to take it up as a hobby and hopefully if I can get enough people around me interested, start a study group this year. I don't have access to teachers where I live so a comprehensive guide covering basics is a godsend for me.


Hi Robin, I hope your copy reaches you swiftly! And please do post your thoughts here once you have had a chance to read through it - hopefully you will find some help and some value from its contents.
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby JakeH » 03 Feb 2015 21:02

Hi Keith,

I have owed you are review for awhile now. Thanks for the prod!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was eager to receive my copy of Keith Farrell's "Scottish Broadsword and British Singlestick" and he did not disappoint.

The book can be broadly divided into three sections. The first and largest outlines the history and context for the subject weapons provided primarily as a recounting of historical accounts and stories. I should point out here that I do not consider myself to be the target audience for the book as I have been practicing the broadsword for some years and have long since encountered these stories in multiple places so they did not have the impact on me that they would have on someone newer to them.

With that in mind, Keith has done a fine job of collecting these stories in one place and joining them with a consistent narrative. That will certainly save the new swordsman the Easter Egg hunt of finding accounts and anecdotes in the diverse original sources. Further, they are good stories. For the new reader the book is nothing short of a treasure. Even having read them all before, I observed that there are worse ways to spend a blustery Sunday than ensconced with this exemplary collection.

The arguments put forth in the book are cogent and compelling. I must admit that the pin Keith puts in the use of cutlasses during the World War II "Altmark Incident" was definitive enough to talk me out of one of my favourite anecdotes.

The middle section is a reprint of the 'Roworth' treatise -- "The Art of Defense on Foot with the Broadsword and Sabre". This 1804 manual is highly accessible and readable and a personal favourite of mine. A very good choice for someone taking up the broadsword or single stick for the first time. The manual is fairly easy to find online, but I am glad to have a copy in hand for ease of reference.

Finally we come to the gem of the book. The third section is Keith's "Salient Points for Study" comprising a trove of wisdom for the student. I read this section with relish and if I had any issue with it it is that the section ended too soon. I dare say that I cannot complain a whit about the commentary provided if only because I have often heard the same words coming out of my own mouth during a lesson. I would favour the book for this section alone.

Outside of the main body, the appendices are thorough and rich with avenues for further reading.

On the down side, I have only two points which are mere nitpicks in comparison to the value of the book.

The first is the choice of subtitle. I would not call this book a 'study guide' as much as a 'historical introduction'. From the subtitle I was anticipating considerably more interpretation than recitation and the presentation of an original and more stepwise method for the solo practitioner to learn the broadsword and single stick. The final section does approach the epithet 'study guide' and perhaps could be expanded in a future edition. I do not wish this observation to detract from the merit of the book as a whole and thus I consider it a debatable choice of subtitle rather than a shortcoming in the content.

The second is that there are rather large sections of quoted text repeated several times through the book. This is redundant and counter to the usual standard of simply referring to, rather than repeating, large quotations.

Aside from the book itself, the means of distribution in North America wound up cascading (cost, plus shipping, plus exchange, plus taxes plus...) to an expensive proposition. If that could be streamlined to make the book available at a better price I think it should be a 'go to' volume in anyone's library.

Overall, I have already been recommending this book to my students and friends interested in the history and use of these late period weapons.

Jake Hodgson
Broadsword Academy Kingston
Kingston, Ontario
Canada
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Re: New publication: Scottish Broadsword and British Singles

Postby KeithFarrell » 03 Feb 2015 21:22

Thanks Jake :) your comments have been taken on board for future revisions!
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