Originally published in 1804 and aimed at the volunteer regiments of the Napoleonic Era, when engagements with swords were still a reality of warfare, The Art of Defence was written for civilians wanting to learn to fence with the sabre, broad-sword or spadroon. The growing interest in Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) has led to a world-wide increase in clubs and societies, and this text is aimed at these new students. The content is presented in a highly-structured way and in easily accessible language.
Although primarily aimed at the novice, the text contains a number of more advanced techniques, from which more experienced fencers can benefit. This newly transcribed edition puts the complete, original text into a modern typesetting to make it easily accessible during lessons, but is otherwise left unchanged.
To ensure the transcription will remain as compatible with other sources that refer to specific parts of the text as the original edition, all content has remained on the same page. All the plates, including the foldouts, have been photographed and digitally enhanced in order to reproduce them in as much detail as possible.