Lessons on the Thrust

book cover
(Available to purchase through the Academy of Historical Arts online store.)

Cite this book as:
Van Noort, Reinier. Lessons on the Thrust. Glasgow: Fallen Rook Publishing, November 2014.

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In 1664, Jéann Daniel L'Ange published the Deutliche und gründliche Erklärung der adelichen und ritterlichen freyen Fecht-Kunst in Heidelberg, Germany. This was one of the first concise and systematic treatises on the typically German style of rapier fencing that evolved from the teachings of Fabris and his German students. L'Ange presents his personal point of view on this fencing style, which includes a rather large selection of brutal grappling moves.

This first English translation of L'Ange's treatise, made by Reinier van Noort and published exactly 350 years after the original edition, provides a fascinating viewpoint on a fencing style that is underrepresented in the modern studies on historical martial arts. In this translation, Jéann Daniel L'Ange's view on fencing is presented in a way that is both close to the original, and clearly understandable by a modern reader. Meticulously cleaned scans of the 61 page size plates from the original treatise are also included.

Reinier van Noort has been researching and teaching rapier fencing since 2010, focusing mainly on the single rapier as used in the Netherlands and Germany in the late 17th century. He has translated the anonymous Vechtboek (UBL BPL 3281), Johann Georg Pascha's Kurtze iedoch Deutliche Beschribung handlend von Fechten auff den Stoß und Hieb, and more. Reinier has been a member of HEMAC since 2010.

Book Details:
- Original Author: Jéann Daniel L'Ange
- Translator: Reinier van Noort
- Editors: Harald Rotter, Keith Farrell
- Illustrator: Ivan Čurić
- Publisher: Fallen Rook Publishing
- Date of Publication: 11th November 2014
- ISBN: 978-0-9926735-4-3
- Binding: Perfect-Bound Paperback
- Pages: 156
- Height: 17.78 cm
- Width: 22.86 cm
- Language: English

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Review - 2nd October 2014

Piermarco Terminiello wrote a lengthy review of the book on the HEMA News website. Here is his conclusion:

I was impressed by L'Ange's treatise. Reinier's good work is evidenced by the fact that I forgot I was reading a translation, so that this felt more like reviewing L'Ange's original work. A work which, as a potential syllabus, stands up very well against comparative treatises.

Its clarity and logical progression is better than most, and it combines a lucid explanation of the essentials, more complex material, together with some more idiosyncratic plays, some of startling brutality.


Buy this if: You want additional illustrated material to support your study of Italian or Italianate rapier forms; you are interested in German fencing in the late seventeenth-century; you want to learn a style that doesn’t require strenuous postures or deep lunges; or you are looking for a clear foundational text to begin your study of rapier.

Review - 14th May 2015

Mark left a review of the book on Amazon.co.uk:

Excellent and well written book that makes great use of illustration. Recommend this to HEMA and sports fencers. There are an increasing number of books on fencing / swordplay coming to market, this is a genuinely useful considered work.

Review - 28th November 2014

Myles Cupp wrote a brief review of the book on Facebook:

Just received my copy of Lessons on the Thrust as translated by Reinier van Noort. First impressions? Very nice little paperback (layout reminds me of the recently released Lost Book of Giganti) with some fascinating insights just from a 5 minute glance... like a very brutal play that ends with someone's neck getting snapped.

Also fun to see a fencing author talk in more detail about where to fight duels, how to choose your sword, etc. Get a copy if you haven't rapier fans!

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