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The Oakeshott Books

Ewart Oakeshott was a sword collector and an avid writer and fan of swords and medieval swords. He wrote quite a few books about swords, armor and knights and he is possibly most known for his typology of swords which categorized straight/double edged swords .

The first book I have here is generally considered to be one of the best books on the medieval sword.


If you only get one book this is the one to get (I own this book )


Records of the Medieval Sword

Records of the Medieval Sword - by Eward Oakeshott

Forty years of intensive research into the specialised subject of the straight two-edged knightly sword of the European middle ages are contained in this classic study. Spanning the period from the great migrations to the Renaissance, Ewart Oakeshott emphasises the original purpose of the sword as an intensely intimate accessory of great significance and mystique. There are over 400 photographs and drawings, each fully annotated and described in detail, supported by a long introductory chapter with diagrams of the typological framework first presented in The Archaeology of Weapons and further elaborated in The Sword in the Age of Chivalry. There are appendices on inlaid blade inscriptions, scientific dating, the swordsmith's art, and a sword of Edward III. Reprinted as part of Boydell's History of the Sword series.


The Archaeology of Weapons

The Archaeology of Weapons -

Premodern weapons of war receive a tremendously detailed and thorough accounting in this volume - the work of a noted authority on medieval arms in Europe. Covering a period of 30 centuries, the study, like a richly woven tapestry, vividly describes the development of arms and armor - beginning with the weapons of the prehistoric Bronze and Iron Ages, through the breakup of the Roman Empire and the great folk-migrations of the period; the age of the Vikings; and finally, the Age of Chivalry.
Relying on evidence of arms found in bogs, tombs, rivers, excavations, and other sites as well as on contemporary art and literature, the author describes in detail an awesome array of the weapons and accoutrements of war: swords, shields, spears, helmets, daggers, longbows, crossbows, axes, chain mail, plate armor, gauntlets, and much else.
Profusely illustrated with more than 170 of the author's own line drawings and 23 plates depicting many rare and beautiful weapons, this meticulously researched volume will be an indispensable resource for military historians, archaeologists, students of arms and armor, and anyone interested in the weaponry of old.


The Sword in the Age of Chivalry

The Sword in the Age of Chivalry

A history and typology of the European knightly sword. Oakeshott draws on his extensive research to trace its development from the knightly successors of the Viking weapon to the emergence of the Renaissance sword, using evidence from literature and art as well as from archaeology.


European Weapons and Armor

European Weapons and Armor - By Ewart Oakeshott

Both a work of scholarship, and a treasury of information, for anyone seeking a factual and vivid account of the story of arms from the Renaissance period to the Industrial Revolution. The author chooses as his starting-point the invasion of Italy by France in 1494, which sowed the dragon's teeth of all the successive European wars; the French invasion was to accelerate the trend towards new armaments and new methods of warfare. The author describes the development of the handgun and the pike, the use and style of staff-weapons, mace and axe and war-hammer, dagger and dirk and bayonet. He shows how armour attained its full Renaissance splendour and then suffered its sorry and inevitable decline, culminating in the Industrial Revolution, with its far-reaching effects on military armaments. Above all, he follows the long history of the sword, queen of weapons, to the late eighteenth century, when it finally ceased to form a part of a gentleman's every-day wear. Lavishly illustrated.


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Sword in Hand: A History of the Medieval Sword

This book is difficult to get. Amazon sometimes has copies.




The Oakeshott Knight Series


A knight and his weapons bookA Knight and his Weapons

Take an engaging journey back in time, when battles were fought with swords, lances, maces, and an array of well-crafted devices that could be elegant and ornate, brutal and efficient, or both. This accessible, lively, and informative book explores many facets of the medieval world of weaponry. Did you know, for instance, that in the fifteenth century ""fight books"" with drawings guided knights in the proper use of weapons? That the average medieval warrior became a full-fledged fighter by the time he was fifteen years old? Or that armor made by a master could, by modern standards, cost the price of a Rolls Royce?


A Knight and his ArmorA Knight and his Armor

This is another in the famous Knight series by the renowned medieval historian Ewart Oakeshott. Explore another fascinating dimension of medieval warfare in this engaging account of knights and their various kinds of armor. Oakeshott focuses on the armor of the later Middle Ages, from 1100 to 1500. He examines how armor developed, how craftsmen made the important garments, and he looks in detail at the different kinds of helmets and which were the best. He also looks at the other important aspects of a knight's armor and finishes up with a discussion of how the armor was worn. Along the way he dispels a number of myths about medieval armor. Originally published in 1961-and of interest to young and older readers-this updated and revised edition of A Knight and His Armor has an extensive and useful glossary. Accurately illustrated by the author, the book captures the wonder and magic of a past time. ""Oakeshott here provides a detailed history of how armor developed, how and of what it was made, and how it was worn.""-Library Journal


A knight and his Castle

A Knight and his Castle

From the author's famous life of a medieval knight series, this book provides a lively and informative history of the castle, its design, building, defense, as well as its armoury, daily life, and the training of knights.



A Knight and His Horse

A Knight and his Horse

Explore a fascinating dimension of medieval life in this engaging account of knights and their horses. Oakeshott reveals how war tactics changed because of the swift terror of fighting on horseback instead of on foot. The author brings us into the world of jousts and spear-play, where a horse's strength, speed, and resiliency were absolutely essential. To engage in such exciting, dangerous activities, a "knight's horse had to have nerves of steel and a steadfast heart." Oakeshott dispels myths about the so-called ponderous horse of medieval times. He tells how horses were bred and trained for war, and how they became symbols of social class and sources of pride. Without a horse, a knight was nothing. Originally published in 1962-and of interest to young and older readers-this updated and revised edition of A Knight and His Horse has an extensive and useful glossary. Accurately illustrated by the author, the book captures the wonder and magic of a past time.


A Knight in Battle

A Knight in Battle

Recounts four medieval battles of different tactical styles and discusses the changes in weapons and armor between 1100 and 1500.



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