Friday, March 15, 2013

How to Fight Like a Cavalry Officer, and Look Quite Nice in the Process

Now, don’t take this as an instruction.  Yes, I know how to fence, but it’s been a long time since I wielded a blade more deadly than a boffer sword.  And while I can dispatch an imaginary foe quite nicely with PVC pipe wrapped in padding and duct tape (ask either of my sons or nieces), I would never presume to go toe to toe with a gentlemen trained during the nineteenth century, when swordplay was still the mark of a man.

But those young gentlemen had to learn somewhere.  While we’ve discussed the famous Angelo’s fencing academy some time ago, there were also instruction manuals at the time that laid out the main positions of the sword.  Below are some I believe come from a cavalry officer’s training manual, for how to behave when afoot.

Be on your guard.  (Such handsome fellows, guards.)

Parry well. (Perrier, anyone?  I get so thirsty watching others work!)

And for pity’s sake, watch your leg!  (Oh, gladly, sir!)

That last picture is supposedly a caricature by Thomas Rowlandson, who was a master of the art.  But I must admit, it makes perfect sense to me!

But then again, boffer swords are my choice of weapon.

And my choice to receive the free copy of The Heiress’s Homecoming is QNPoohBear!  She and Laura AKA Loves to Read Romance were the only ones brave enough to take the Everard quiz last week and report their scores.  Bravo, ladies!  QNPoohBear, e-mail me at and I’ll put the book in the mail to you.


Cara King said...

I love those prints, Regina! And your comments on them. :-)

Regina Scott said...

Thanks, Cara. I know I've had costumers assure me that most gentlemen had trousers that were not very fitted behind, but these prints seem to disagree. :-)