My Book Reviews

Here is a selection of reviews of my book The History of Armour 1100-1700

Classic Arms & Militaria 

Link to My review

Military Archive Research  April 2013
by Dr. Stuart C Blank

Knights in armour have always fascinated the general public. They were heroic men recruited from the ranks of the nobility and aristocratic families and they have been immortalised by their jousting and chivalrous conduct. Modern TV programmes only serve to embellish their “reputation”.   The author has studied numerous illustrations, effigies and surviving pieces. He has taken some superb photographs and created some excellent illustrations of surviving artefacts.

This book covers the period 1100 to 1700 and it gives an excellent and detailed account about how armour developed over this period. This period covers the Medieval, Tudor, Elizabethan and the Civil War and the book itemises the minor and subtle changes in the design of armour between these dates.

The “normal” suit of armour for knights consisted mainly of helmets, chest protection pieces, arm guards, gauntlets, leg guards and sabatons. Given the research expertise of the author he has also done a great service by including the evolution and usage of weaponry and protective wear for horses. Most knights used horses as their primary transport and were mounted in battles so a quality book like this one also considers these topics. Naturally the development of weaponry feeds back into the design and technology of armour.

The text of the book starts with a discussion of the “overall” development of armour and the usage of effigies as primary data on what suits of armour used to be like. An exceptional analysis of the components of a suit of armour is given after a short chapter mentioning what / who the knights were. The last few chapters are devoted to weaponry (an important issue as suits of armour were designed to withstand them), shields and the “warhorse”.

Overall this book is a lovely and fascinating read. It certainly uncovers much little known data about the subject. Its primary markets are historians, re-enactors, collectors and those generally interested in this period and it serves these markets well. If one is looking for a text to introduce and give a good review of the topic then there is no need to look any further because this is the book you require.

Medieval Warfare Vol III, Issue 4 
" Very rarely does a history book do exactly what it says it will do, but Walker's book is unabashedly honest in its aims.
This book will be of interest to re-enactors and enthusiast alike. It is not a trditional academic text, but is accessible and easy to read. "

G. Jones

Format:Hardcover|Amazon Verified Purchase

I have not come across another book on armour which is presented in this innovative way. Very accessible and informative. The churches of Britain are full of history available to all regardless of whether you are religious or not. This book uses that information to help explain and illustrate the development of armour beautifully - I may give it to my son (the intended recipient) in due course!!!!
A great book. 

Link to Review by Military Modelling Magazine

The Society for Medieval Archaeology
 It gives a useful introduction to the subject for historical interpreters and anyone with a general interest in arms and armour

Monumental Brass Society 
Page 20

The Society for Medieval Archaeology 
" It gives a useful introduction to the subject for historical interpreters and anyone with a general interest in arms and armour. " 

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