Paradoxes of Defence was first published in London in1599. It was written by George Silver, an English gentleman, who was appalled at the influx of Italian rapier fencing into England, and set out his arguments in favour of the traditional English weapons: the short sword, the short staff, the forrest bill, the morris pike, and all manner of additional arms such as daggers, bucklers, and targes. He rails against the fashionable new style on the grounds that it is both dangerous to the practitioners, and of no use in warfare.
Whether he was right or wrong, history was against him and the fashionable Italian rapier took over. But his work offers a vital window into the theory and practice of martial arts in England in Tudor times, and ironically provides much of what we know about several Italian rapier masters: Rocco Bonetti, Vincentio Saviolo, and Jeronimo Saviolo.
This modern pronunciation audiobook comes in two versions, with and without musical accompaniment. Harp music is John Dowland's Battle Galliard, played by Andrew Lawrence-King. You can download the zip files of mp3 files, or if you prefer, get the audiobook from Bookfunnel with the special link provided.
In this edition, the text has been modernised and edited by Guy Windsor, and narrated in modern pronunciation by Jonathan Hartman. We have also produced a version read by Ben Crystal in Original Pronunciation.
For more information please see guywindsor.net/silver
Paradoxes of Defence Audiobook: modern pronunciation (with and without harp) in two sets of Mp3 files, and a code to get the book from BookFunnel
- Paradoxes of Defence Audiobook: modern pronunciation (with and without harp) in two sets of Mp3 files, and a code to get the book from BookFunnel