Mason, R. Oswald.


The Tabard Press, facsimile edition, 1970. 59 pp., frontis., + a fldg., plate. D.j., 19 x 13cm. Nr.FINE. The longbow as the foremost weapon of the English soldier had been cast aside by the statute of 1595 despite a prolonged and active controversy over its abolition. Most arguments campaigning for the re-introduction of this weapon on an official basis gave reasons for the bow's superiority over the musket but in this rare book, originally published in 1798, a scheme was outlined for combining the bow with the pike, and a special series of drill movements was devised by the author for this purpose. The period of the enthusiastic but rather eccentric proposals was a time of unrest due to the fear of invasion from Napoleonic France and it is as a historical document of the period that this book is of special importance, in addition to being of particular interest to military historians. This edition has a foreword that gives a brief account of the contemporary scene with France and the historical background to the long series of attempts to bring back the longbow as an official weapon. The book is completed with details of the author, bibliographical notes and a folding plate. Scarce.

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