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Longbow: A Social and Military History
by Robert Hardy
This revised and expanded edition chronicles the history of the longbow from the earliest known example used 8000 years ago, through its coming of age at the battles of Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt, to its use as a hunting and sporting weapon, and its present-day status in Britain.
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published November 16th 1992 by Bois D'Arc Press
(first published January 1st 1976)
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This book was first published in the 1970s and updated a couple of times since. The role of the longbow in both hunting/gathering and in war. Parts are quite technical and those I just browsed. The recovery of Henry VIII's favorite ship, the Mary Rose, in the early 1980s produced a vast store of unused longbows which has had a big impact on research in this field (they usually rot away, become firewood, etc.). The author added a major chapter at the end of the book as a result. It's out of print ...more
Probably pretty boring stuff, if you're not a history junkie or particularly interested in the military and social history of England up through the middle ages. The writing is quite dry, but the book is packed solid with information including accounts of the pivotal battles of Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt. Much like the Spartan phalanx formation of locked shields with protruding lances, the disciplined formations of the Roman legions, and the swift mounted archery of the Mongols, it seems tha ...more
Written by a true amateur, this is a wonderful history of archery. It's primary focus is English archery, which flowered fully at the battles of Crecy and Agincourt. It does deal a fair bit with the history of bows leading up to those pivotol battles, but it's overall focus is the English longbow. There is passing mention of other peoples and their bows, but for this author, everything crescendos at Agincourt with a relatively fast decline after that as the world moves on to gunpowder and guns. ...more
This book, while more of a textbook and manual than anything, was absolutely helpful in my research of the Hundred Years War in which longbow men were highly sought after and greatly and effectively utilized to soundly defeat the French on many occasions. It beings with the basic history of archery all the way to the most recent uses of longbows and their wooden descendants. There are even some sections that describe how to make long bows with modern tools. Great and informative read.