The Perfect Sword
Forging the Dark Ages
288 Pages, 6.3 x 9.2 in, 8pp color plates; maps
- January 2023
- In Stock
In 2000, archaeologist Paul Gething rediscovered a sword. An unprepossessing length of rusty metal, it had been left in a suitcase for thirty years. But Paul had a suspicion that the sword had more to tell than appeared, so he sent it for specialist tests. When the results came back, he realised that what he had in his possession was possibly the finest, and certainly the most complex, sword ever made, which had been forged in seventh-century Northumberland by an anonymous swordsmith.
This is the story of the Bamburgh Sword – of how and why it was made, who made it and what it meant to the warriors and kings who wielded it over three centuries. It is also the remarkable story of the archaeologists and swordsmiths who found, studied and attempted to recreate the weapon using only the materials and technologies available to the original smith.
"Revelatory and fascinating... The kind of book that Wayland the Smith would have adored." ~Tom Holland, author of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
“The story of the Bamburgh Sword (arguably one of the finest Medieval swords ever forged)… will prove to be a welcome addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Medieval History & Archaeology collections.” ~Midwest Book Review
"[A] wonderfully well-written, entertainingly discursive and absorbing account of swordcraft and archaeology." ~Country Life
[a] wonderfully well-written, entertainingly discursive and absorbing account of swordcraft and archaeology' ~Jason Goodwin, Country Life