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Pen & Sword Military

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David Ross Erickson
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Pen & Sword Military

Postby David Ross Erickson » Fri March 11th, 2011, 6:34 pm

I wonder if anyone here has ever tried any Pen & Sword military books. They look great, and their titles are phenomenal (Pyrrhus of Epirus, Tyrants of Syracuse, Wars of Alexanders Successors, vols 1 & 2). Wow! I feel like a kid in a candy store! However, the books are pretty pricey, are not available on Kindle and have no "Look Inside" option, which makes buying one sort of a crapshoot.

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fljustice
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Postby fljustice » Fri December 2nd, 2011, 3:44 pm

David, I know this is late, but just ordered a book from them and can let you know, when I get it, if it's useful. A couple of people on LibraryThing in the Ancient History group have read a few titles and approve. Did you indulge? If so, how did you find them?
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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SGM
Compulsive Reader

Postby SGM » Fri December 2nd, 2011, 10:24 pm

I read fairly recently Cavalier and Roundhead Spies (NF) from this publisher. Rather irritatingly the British Library don't have it and I am not sure if this is because they don't automatically supply the BL with their publications or for some other reason.

Luckily I found it in one of the City libraries -- because I certainly wasn't going to buy it. The book was fine and suited my purposes.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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parthianbow
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Postby parthianbow » Tue December 13th, 2011, 5:27 pm

Only just seen this post, David.

Pen and Sword books are invariably very good. Sometimes they lack a bit of eiditing, but the several that I own have all been well worth the money, especially The Gods of Battle by Chris Webber, about the Thracians.
Ben Kane
Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.
Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.

http://www.benkane.net
Twitter: @benkaneauthor

Rhunt
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Location: Wisconsin, USA

Postby Rhunt » Sat May 26th, 2012, 8:02 pm

Interesting ... so Osprey has some competition? Being a military history buff, I'll have to check them out.

You do mention editing problems, though. Is this editing problems as in "typos" (which I don't care about) or editing problems as in amateurish, informal writing that's better suited to a high school paper than a serious history book (which I would take except to)?

Thanks on all counts! :D
Rhian Hunt

Now Available: The Six Expressions of Death A murder mystery set in 16th century Japan.
Coming Late 2012: Man of the Bow and Spear Continuation of the series.

The Six Expressions of Death

Rhunt
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Location: Wisconsin, USA

Postby Rhunt » Sun May 27th, 2012, 2:22 pm

Ah, I see they're not really a competitor to Osprey after all. They've got that "the only military history is British military history" approach -- the entire sum of medieval warfare was apparently Agincourt and the Wars of the Roses, for example.

A pity, I had high hopes briefly.
Rhian Hunt



Now Available: The Six Expressions of Death A murder mystery set in 16th century Japan.

Coming Late 2012: Man of the Bow and Spear Continuation of the series.



The Six Expressions of Death

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fljustice
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Postby fljustice » Mon May 28th, 2012, 3:27 pm

"Rhunt" wrote:Ah, I see they're not really a competitor to Osprey after all. They've got that "the only military history is British military history" approach -- the entire sum of medieval warfare was apparently Agincourt and the Wars of the Roses, for example.

A pity, I had high hopes briefly.


Actually the book I have of their's is Stilicho: the Vandal Who Saved Rome and am eagerly awaiting Aetius: Attila's Nemesis to become available in the US. So they do have some other titles outside British history. I love Osprey books for their brevity, clarity and gorgeous illustrations. P&S seems to have more academic works.
Faith L. Justice, Author Website

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parthianbow
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Postby parthianbow » Wed May 30th, 2012, 4:57 pm

"Rhunt" wrote:Ah, I see they're not really a competitor to Osprey after all. They've got that "the only military history is British military history" approach -- the entire sum of medieval warfare was apparently Agincourt and the Wars of the Roses, for example.

A pity, I had high hopes briefly.


That's a little harsh. Their main focus is on British history, that's true, but they have many many other titles about other topics, such as the Thracian text I mentioned and the ones mentioned by fljustice. There are also titles about German soldiers and generals, and great leaders of antiquity etc.

Importantly, where they differ - and are way better than Osprey titles in this respect - is that the texts are in depth, detailed examinations of leaders/peoples/wars. For example, Chris Webber's Osprey book on the Thracians is a good read - but it's 48 pages in length. His P & S book on exactly the same subject is nearly 300 pages in length. I don't need to explain the maths there. His P & S Thracian text is infinitely superior to his Osprey one.

Osprey books are great, don't get me wrong, but they are rarely more than a taster of a subject. The Osprey titles (both those to do with Britishers and nonBritishers) give the reader much more.
Ben Kane

Bestselling author of Roman military fiction.

Spartacus - UK release 19 Jan. 2012. US release June 2012.



http://www.benkane.net

Twitter: @benkaneauthor

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Gordopolis
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Postby Gordopolis » Tue June 12th, 2012, 11:36 am

"fljustice" wrote:Actually the book I have of their's is Stilicho: the Vandal Who Saved Rome and am eagerly awaiting Aetius: Attila's Nemesis to become available in the US. So they do have some other titles outside British history. I love Osprey books for their brevity, clarity and gorgeous illustrations. P&S seems to have more academic works.


The Stilicho book looks excellent. I really want to clear some time to read this as I feel it could seed a few ideas!

John Sliz
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Postby John Sliz » Thu April 11th, 2013, 2:21 pm

"David Ross Erickson" wrote:I wonder if anyone here has ever tried any Pen & Sword military books. They look great, and their titles are phenomenal (Pyrrhus of Epirus, Tyrants of Syracuse, Wars of Alexanders Successors, vols 1 & 2). Wow! I feel like a kid in a candy store! However, the books are pretty pricey, are not available on Kindle and have no "Look Inside" option, which makes buying one sort of a crapshoot.


I have a large number of their WWII titles in my collection. I consider these more picture histories. The maps are usually well done.


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