Secret even in their day, Additional Manuscript 39564, Cottonian Titus A XXV, and Harleian MS 3542 on the art and lore of the longsword represent the entire known surviving martial arts texts of medieval England. All written before 1500, now they are transcribed, translated, and boldly interpreted for modern students of the medieval combat arts. Authors Brandon Heslop and Benjamin Bradak combine dedicated scholarship with years of rigorous physical training to provide the most complete look yet at the little-known English tradition of the noble longsword. In Lessons on the English Longsword, Heslop and Bradak provide:
Knights born and knights made. Battle-hardened squires and hired champions fighting to the death in trials by combat. Masters of Defence, men-at-arms, and mercenaries. Robber barons, outlaws, murderous brigands, and the private yeoman defending his lifeblood, family, and property. This is their deadly art. Learn their secrets of steel in Lessons on the English Longsword.
- full transcriptions and translations of the three texts, insights into training methods in medieval England, and a useful lexicon of terms
- detailed photographic interpretations of the texts to serve as a visual reference in the study and application of the art of swordsmanship
- a convincing case for a pan-European art of the longsword, linking the techniques and training of the English tradition with the better-known German and Italian traditions
- focus on two important aspects of medieval swordsmanship found in the English manuscripts but not in the numerous German and Italian sources: set training forms and the facing of multiple opponents
- a separate chapter on the cryptic poem Man Yt Wol, which unlocks the mysteries of the "Leichtenauer's verses" of medieval England