The art and science of sword fighting goes back almost to the dawn of civilization and has been an obsession for much of mankind throughout recorded history. From the Roman arena to feudal Japan and from the duellists of Europe to the development of modern-day Olympic fencing, Richard Cohen traces the course of swordsmanship with wit and erudition in a fascinating and wonderfully discursive account. Packed with anecdote, superbly written and built on a solid foundation of historical research, this is a tribute to a deadly but beautiful skill, the mastery of which for centuries defined a man.
Richard Cohen is the former publishing director of Hutchinson and Hodder & Stoughton and the author of Chasing the Sun, By the Sword, and How To Write Like Tolstoy. Works he has edited have gone on to win the Pulitzer, Booker and Whitbread/Costa prizes, and twenty-one have been #1 bestsellers. For more than 35 years he has written, edited, and lectured on numerous subjects around the world, from talks on the Queen Mary 2 to the First World War battlefields of France and Belgium. For seven years he was a visiting professor in creative writing at the university of Kingston-upon-Thames in London. Among the authors he has edited are Madeleine Albright, Vanessa Redgrave, Sebastian Faulks, Studs Terkel, John Keegan, Richard Holmes, John le Carre, Jeffrey Archer, Sir Harold Evans, Tony Benn, Barbara Castle, William Trevor, Kingsley Amis and Fay Weldon. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
For two years he was program director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, and during his tenure it became the largest book festival in the world. Five times U.K. national saber champion, Cohen was selected for the British Olympic fencing team in 1972, 1976, 1980, and 1984 and has been four times world veteran champion. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times Book Review and most British quality newspapers.
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