Recommending Gloves for Longsword Fencing

An Albion Meyer and a pair of Sparring Gloves. Photo by Keith Farrell.

 

It is easy to spend a long time discussing gloves for longsword fencing. Each make and model has advantages and disadvantages, and every practitioner will have their own preferences and needs.

 

This article lays out the brief comparisons and recommendations that I give to my students when they ask me about what gloves they need for lessons in the clubs at which I teach.

Read more

Fork You!!! Event Budgeting 101

This week I am going to take a look at event budgeting. Now I know for many people a collective groan was just heard as you were hoping for a post about swords or other fighty things. The reality is though that budgeting for events is an important skill and a habit any event organiser should get in to. For the purpose of this article, I will use a fictional HEMA event to help illustrate the method I use for preparing to budget. I will use follow up posts to deal with excel spreadsheets and other aspects of budgeting but this post provides the foundation.

Read more

Degeneration of Chivalry in 1 Henry VI and 2 Henry VI

Today’s post has been written by Reinis Rinka, on the depiction of chivalry in Shakespeare’s Henry IV parts 1 and 2.

           

Henry VI part 1 and 2 are set at the end of the Hundred years war, the war that many believe ended the age of the chivalric style of warfare (Williamson 1919, p. 333). In a similar way the increasing widespread use of firearms was also changing warfare in Elizabethan England. Through these historical parallels the two parts of Henry VI explores the nature and disillusionment of warfare in both time periods, as Semenza puts it,

‘Shakespeare’s attention in the trilogy to the degeneration of chivalry into realpolitik – apparent in the shift of focus from the Anglo-French wars in I Henry VI to the petty civil squabbles of the subsequent plays – should be examined within the context of contemporary anxieties about war having become less noble and, to a certain degree, less justifiable’ (2001 p.1254)

The world of 1 Henry VI is in a flux. It attempts to hold on to old ideals about combat, while it is also inevitably faced with a, disillusioned approach to war. Nonetheless not all characters are aware of the change. Talbot is a character in the middle. He upholds chivalric values, however he understands and sees how warfare is changing. His ultimate end might be because of his inability or unwillingness to change. The world of 2 Henry VI can be seen as having already changed. It resonates with part 1, but mostly to show how far the degeneration of chivalry has gone.

Read more