Michael D. Coe, editor,
Swords & Hilt Weapons
(Grove Press, 1989;
Barnes & Noble, 1996)

As a child I took weapons, swords, daggers, Sgian dubhs and dirks hanging on the wall as the norm for decor. My grandfather's home was covered with such items that, to me, looked wonderful. As I grew I came to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship in weapons that dominated warfare for millenniums, until the coming of the more clumsy equalizer, guns. Anyone can pick up a gun and fire it, but to use a sword with proficiency is something akin to ballet.

Thrust, parry, block, defence and offence, from claymore to epees they were breathtaking to watch. Even more so was the feeling of holding these metal wonders in your hands. So it was not surprising I went on to collect swords. And this book satisfies that love of the weapon. Edited by Michael D. Coe, the book's various contributors trace the earliest origins from the stone, bronze and iron ages to the swords of World Wars I and II. It covers swords from the Middle East, the unsurpassed Japanese samurai blades, swords used in China and Central Asia, India, Africa and pre-conquest America.

The book is LOADED with color pictures of the weapons, historical paintings showing them in use, even detailed spectrograms on the composition of the blades, how they were made, from the most basic to the most ornamental dress swords. Every page is simply amazing.

Swords & Hilt Weapons is highly recommended for anyone with a sword collection, anyone interested in knowing more about these weapons that forged our history and especially anyone who writes books with a historical setting.

- Rambles
written by DeborahAnne MacGillivray
published 6 September 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.