Sometimes you find things that are just too cool for words. Sometimes they find you.
I’ve been quietly following swordmaster and writer Guy Windsor for a few years now. At first it was in the form of books, and now it’s via his thoughtful blog. It’s through that blog that I learned of a little project he’s been working on that hits really close to home for me. I’ve been studying the longsword since 2010 (has it really been that long?), specifically the fighting style of Fiore dei Liberi. Naturally, if one claims to be a medievalist and/or if one claims to study the art of the sword, one will sooner or later seek out other styles and learn of other masters. That’s how I came across Guy Windsor’s work, and through him and other sources I found other masters of the age. Philippo di Vadi is another one of those great names among names that swordfighters geek out about.
The way these things work is that people like Guy Windsor have been studying the old manuals these masters left behind, translating them out, and putting what they learn through the paces so as to teach people like me how to do this. His books are always incredible. Recently he’s added two books to the lineup that should be in every medievalist’s wish list.
The books in question are untranslated reproductions of the original manuals of Fiore dei Liberi and Philippo di Vadi! How cool is that?!
Suffice it to say, this is not a proper review of these books. Not yet, anyway. This is more just me getting to geek out about finally being able to add these venerable classics to my bookshelf.
Now imagine curling up to study these reproductions — with the appropriate troubadour music that you already know is in my collection — beneath a reproduction of a classic tapestry! I get to do that now too. I found this considerably smaller, but still beautiful, reproduction of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry, the original being considered as one of the most beautiful works of its time. My little version arrived today. Who am I to argue? Look at this detail!
Yes, the picture is cropped. Sorry. But you get the idea.
Also, I’m laughing because for the second time in a week I was told a package was undeliverable, but it was sitting in my mailbox anyway. I suppose it’s a good problem to have. Certainly beats the alternative.
Anyway, this has been one of those evenings where I realized I absolutely had to tell somebody about it. My cat doesn’t care, so I’m telling all of you.