This beautifully illustrated and detailed book presents one of the worlds most influential fencing treatises. Ridolfo Capo Ferro was a legend in his own lifetime and his intricate and exact instructions were copied and emulated throughout a Europe bewitched by this Italians grace and style. The manual, illustrated with 43 striking illustrations, gives a very real flavour of the panache of this expert in swordsmanship and mastery of that most lethal of weapons—the rapier.Ferro examines different kinds of swords, their component parts and their suitability, before going on to discuss their actual use. There he expounds his theory as to the timing and direction of thrusts, the essential distances and the need for complete control. He also looks at defensive measures, guards, parries, the need for quick footwork.Capo Ferros text is a practical guide to fighting and one which builds on the theory to show exactly how a superior form of swordsmanship could be learned by Europes elite. His illustrations clearly show the best methods and also show how a rapier could be lethally effective when used with a dagger or with a cloak. This handsome volume is a vital historical record. The book is also sure to give the modern fencer new insights in technique and a greater appreciation of the history of this exciting sport.