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First ever English translation of La Touche’s Vrays Principes de l’Espée seule, by Philibert, Sr. de la Touche (1670).
In the second half of the seventeenth century, the rapier commonly became lighter and shorter, with a smaller hilt, and eventually developed into the smallsword, also known as the court sword. Often, this development is associated with France, and the court of its King, Louis XIV.
It is to this King that La Touche boldly dedicated his treatise, Les Vrays Principes de l’Espée seule, in 1670, and it is this treatise that could be seen as the first work to show how fencing evolved to accommodate the changing weapon.
In this work, Reinier van Noort and Antoine Coudre present the first ever English translation of La Touche’s Vrays Principes, providing a fascinating view on the development of fencing in France at a time when the rapier gave way to the smallsword.
Reinier van Noort is a martial artist and researcher who has practised HEMA since 2005, focusing mainly on rapier fencing. He has published a number of translations of fencing treatises, including Of the Single Rapier, Lesson on the Thrust, and Swordplay.
Antoine Coudre is a historian who has worked as Researcher in the History department at the Centre des Hatues Études de l’Armement. He has been a martial artist since 1998, and started practising HEMA in 2009. His focus is on smallsword, rapier, and polearms.
Paperback, 141 pp., num. ill.