By the Sword: Gladiators, Musketeers, Duelists, Samurai, Swashbucklers and Points of Honour

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9780330482295: By the Sword: Gladiators, Musketeers, Duelists, Samurai, Swashbucklers and Points of Honour
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Though fencing is seen as a graceful and noble sport, it is not without its seamy sides. By the Sword traces the darkness behind the mask, from the sport's early brutal days to the more civilised, yet no less dangerous, days of duelling and then to the present day. Abraham Lincoln, Karl Marx and Mussolini were all involved in duels, Hitler gave fencing a special emphasis in his regime and the best fencer the world has ever seen was an anti-Soviet spy. Cohen delves behind the headlines exposing lurid tales of cheating and blackmail, of murder and strange love affairs, the honour and dishonour of swordmanship and its cultural side from The Three Musketeers to Star Trek. Above all the book portrays the character of fencing - at once graceful, balletic, rough, technically beautiful and fiercely competitive.

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By the Sword Napoleon fenced. So did Shakespeare, Karl Marx, Grace Kelly, and President Truman, who would cross swords with his daughter, Margaret, when she came home from school. Lincoln was a canny dueler. Igantius Loyala challenged a man to a duel for denying Christ's divinity (and won). Less successful, but no less enthusiastic, was Mussolini, who would tell his wife he was "off to get spaghetti," their co... Full description

Review:

...it deals with the big themes of chivalry, the need to compete and that elusive quality that men call "honour". -- Sebastian Faulks

In this enormously learned but also gripping book, Richard Cohen... succeeds in conveying the sensations, excitement and sometimes terror of the contest. -- John Keegan, Military Historian

Like swordplay itself, By the Sword is elegant, accurate, romantic and full of brio - the definitive study, hugely readable, of man's most deadly art. -- Simon Winchester (Author of The Surgeon of Crowthorne)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780812969665: By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions; 10th Anniversary Edition (Modern Library Paperbacks)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0812969669 ISBN 13:  9780812969665
Publisher: Modern Library, 2003
Softcover

9780375504174: By the Sword: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions

Random..., 2002
Hardcover

9780333901922: By the Sword: Gladiators, Musketeers, Duelists, S: A History of Gladiators, Musketeers, Duelists, Samurai, Swashbucklers and Points of Honour

Macmillan, 2002
Hardcover

9781847396709: By the Sword: Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai Warriors, Swashbucklers and Olympians

Simon ..., 2010
Softcover

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