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FFOULKES C. Armour & Weapons



Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Armour & Weapons
page 10

in armour may be considered perhaps rather sentimental and romantic than practical or useful. But, if we consider the history of the Art of War, we shall find that our subject will materially assist us, when we remember that the growth of nations and their fortunes, at any rate till recent times, have depended to a large extent on the sword and the strength of the arm that wielded it. There is another aspect of historical study which is of some importance, especially to those who stand on the outskirts of the subject. This aspect one may call the 'realistic view'. The late Professors York Powell and J. R. Green both insisted on the importance of this side of the subject; and we cannot but feel that to be able to visualize the characters of history and to endow them with personal attributes and personal equipment must give additional interest to the printed page and other docu-mentary evidences. When the study of defensive armour has been carefully followed we shall find that the Black Prince appears to us not merely as a name and a landmark on the long road of time ; we shall be able to picture him to ourselves as a living individual dressed in a distinctive fashion and limited in his actions, to some extent, by that very dress and equipment. The cut of a surcoat, the hilt of a sword, the lines of a breastplate, will tell us, with some degree of accuracy, when a man lived and to what nation he belonged ; and, at the same time, in the later years, we shall find that the suit of plate not only proclaims the individuality of the wearer, but also bears the signature and individuality of the maker ; a combination of interests which few works of handicraft can offer us. From the eleventh to the end of the fourteenth century we have but a few scattered examples of actual defensive armour and arms ; and the authenticity of many of these is open to doubt. The reason for this scarcity is twofold. Firstly, because the material, in spite of its strength, is liable to destruction by rust and corrosion, especially when the armour is of the interlinked chain type which exposes a maximum surface to the atmosphere. A second reason, of equal if not greater importance, is the fact 12 INTRODUCTION

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