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Thomas Mathewson's 1805 Fencing Familiarised

This new edition of Mathewson's work is intended to be useful to those wishing to recreate the training regime of one particular fencing master from the reign of George III. This particular manual is of relevance and use because it seems to have been written with the intention of offering instruction at varying levels starting with the complete beginner and is therefore, unlike many earlier manuals and indeed some contemporary ones, suitable for those modern fencing masters who have recruits to teach. One envisages it as being of value to three categories of people, as well as hopefully being of interest to those with a more general interest in the history of fencing. Firstly to those within the Western Martial Arts community who may wish to study a different master's works from the earlier ones that seem to be the most commonly followed. Secondly I hope it will be of value to those re-enactors who portray the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century enabling them to produce a more authentic representation of sword work of that period and for displays away from the battlefield I particularly draw their attention to the drill en masse as presented in appendix 1 which would make an interesting display in those circumstances where fighting may not be appropriate. Finally, this work may be of some value to those staging theatrical events in that it gives these a grounding of correct sword moves and postures. Indeed to all the foregoing the particular value of this work is that it draws attention to the differences between sword drill as taught and practised in the Napoleonic period and the modern versions of it that are based, as is modern sport sabre, on the late Victorian sabre drill as exemplified by Alfred Hutton's works.
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