Fills a vacuum in English language studies. (...) Will appeal to anyone with an interest in early Northern European swords; to Viking scholars, re-enactors, blade smiths and metallurgists. CLASSIC ARMS AND MILITARIA An important and welcome book. I cannot imagine that there will be a better book published in English on this subject for a long time. PAUL MORTIMER, WITHOWINDE Undoubtedly destined to become a standard reference for blade fanciers and re-enactors. MEDIEVAL HISTORY A splendid book which gives a comprehensive overview of (these) swords. I find little to fault in Peirce's work other than that I wish it were three times the length. RUNA A book with a clear audience in mind: anyone who wants to study a magnificent set of Viking artefacts. SPECULUM An important reference work for scholars as well as for weapons enthusiasts. SCANDINAVIAN STUDIES
This new work fills a gap in the literature in English on the swords made and used in northern Europe during the Viking age, between the mid eighth and the mid eleventh centuries. Ewart Oakeshott outlines the significance and diversity of these ancient heirlooms; co-author Ian Peirce, who handled hundreds of swords in his research for this book in museums across northern Europe, selects and describes sixty of the finest representative weapons. Where possible, full-length photographs are included, in addition to illustrations of detail; an illustrated overview of blade types and construction, pattern-welding, inscription and handle forms and their classification prefaces the catalogue of examples which is the principal part of this work. Ian Peirce is lecturer and museum consultant specialising in early swords; Ewart Oakeshott was renowned for his pioneer studies on a wide range of medieval swords.