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Whenever you finish a book, post it here
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Paracelsus Offline
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Post: #976
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
By the Sword, Richard Cohen

[Image: bythesword.jpg]

Absolutely remarkable nonfiction history of duelling in all its forms, including up to the modern age of fencing. You'd be surprised who duelled, in history, who actually had skin in the game of honour. Strongly recommended.

Two notable trivia I learned from this book:

(1) Bob Anderson, the guy who choreographed the Star Wars films, was not just some stuntman. He was a British Olympian fencer and had been choreographing films since 1953. The man was an astonishing artist.

(2) I was wrong and feel ashamed of ever having pejoratively saying that someone 'died in harness' as though they were some horse who dropped dead while toiling its way ahead of a plough in a field.

"Harness" was the old, historical name for armour. The phrase 'suit of armor' did not exist until the 16-1700s. To say a man died in harness was to say that he died in his armour, that he died like a faithful soldier on the battlefield and not in his bed. That's what the origin of the phrase "died in harness" actually is.

Remissas, discite, vivet.
God save us from people who mean well. -storm
(This post was last modified: 12-08-2018 08:54 AM by Paracelsus.)
12-08-2018 08:53 AM
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Dulceácido
Dulceácido Offline
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Post: #977
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
(12-08-2018 08:53 AM)Paracelsus Wrote:  "Harness" was the old, historical name for armour. The phrase 'suit of armor' did not exist until the 16-1700s. To say a man died in harness was to say that he died in his armour, that he died like a faithful soldier on the battlefield and not in his bed. That's what the origin of the phrase "died in harness" actually is.

In the States we use a similar term from the old west cowboy days: "He died with his boots on."

I'm not a businessman; I'm a business, Man
12-09-2018 07:42 AM
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Paracelsus
TigerMandingo Online
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Post: #978
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
Paracelsus that book sounds awesome. More historical nonfiction recs please Biggrin

Just finished Max Hastings' massive WW2 book Inferno. Very readable and detailed, even though Hastings gets a bad rep among historians (not sure why).

Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that mate.
12-09-2018 07:51 AM
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Al O'Peesha Offline
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Post: #979
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Birdsong-Sebast...0099387913

https://www.amazon.com/Birdsong-Novel-Lo...0679776818

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdsong_(novel)

A couple of thoughts:

-Stephen Wraysford is not an everyman character and can be difficult to like. Personally I only found myself warming to him at the end of the novel where his daughter Francoise recalls his life after the war;

-The passage dealing with the end of the war for Wraysford seems a little far-fetched; a man who has been seriously injured manages to survive trapped underground for several days with no water, food or medical supplies and nearly succeeds in escaping by himself. It doesn't detract from the story though.

Overall, Birdsong is one of the best novels I have ever read. My favourite war book remains Quartered Safe out Here by George MacDonald Fraser, purely because it is a true historical account of the author's time in Burma during World War II. However, this is the best work of fiction about war I have read for some time.

PS Quartered Safe out Here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartered_Safe_Out_Here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Quartered-Safe-...0007105932

https://www.amazon.com/Quartered-Safe-Ou...1629142034

Men are not creepy. Do you know what’s creepy? Spiders, because we don’t know how they move.
12-13-2018 05:34 PM
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