Renaissance & Reformation

Seafaring & Warfare

1450 to 1700

copyright 1997 by Historical Novelists Center

This includes sailing and rowing vessels, piracy (one country's privateer is another's pirate), castles, sieges, battles, and weapons, but not personal combat or dueling.

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Brockman, E.

The Two Sieges of Rhodes: The Knights of St. John at War, 1480-1522 ****
Barnes & Noble, NY
Covers the background and moral attitude of the military order (see also Desmond Seward, *The Monks of War*, below), but concentrates on their Renaissance evolution. The Mediterranean in this period is too often ignored in English to concentrate on the Wars of the Roses or the Tudor doings, so this fills a gap you may not realise had existed. T2

Buehr, Walter

Warrior's Weapons ***
Crowell, NY, 1963; illustrated by author
Simply, pleasantly written, very good for those who have an allergy to heavy militarism or hairy-chested macho, which this is not. T1

Cucari, Attilio

Sailing Ships *
Rand McNally & Co., Chicago, NY, SF; 1978; illustrator: Guido Canestrari
Interesting overview with pretty pictures BUT illos are not proportional, only a rough idea of appearance. Facts should be cross-referenced with other sources if possible. Not gospel, but can be handy home reference. Hold a piece of paper across the waterline to see what they look like when not sailing through the sky above you, a loathesome angle to have drawn them at. T1

Delbrueck, Hans

Medieval Warfare; History of the Art of War, volume III ****
University of Nebraska Press, 1990, trans. Walter J. Renfroe, Jr.; orig. 1923; 711 pg, index

The Dawn of Modern Warfare: History of the Art of War, volume IV *****!
University of Nebraska Press, 1990, trans. Walter J. Renfroe, Jr.; orig. 1923; 487 pg, index
These overlap in the late 1400's. If you are working early in the period, you will want vol. III to tell you how Medieval warfare still is, and in what manner it is transforming in which countries. If you are late in the Reformation, you can do nicely with just vol. IV. Really very clearly presented for a subject that is so variable and ornate.. T2

Duffy, Christopher

Fire and Stone: The Science of Fortress Warfare, 1660-1860 ****
Hippocrene Books, NY, 1975; now from Greenhill
Well-written, well-illustrated and well-designed. The Fortess Wargame for Miniatures is tactical fun while teaching you how things can work or go wrong. The other appendix, on how to tour old fortifications, is good if you get to make the research trip.. T2

Siege Warfare *****!
Barnes & Noble
Covers 1494-1660, the period of the first great gunpowder sieges, when artillery was powerful enough to make a difference. The new warfare not only affected fortresses, but the rebuilding of towns and cities, too. T2

ffoulkes, Charles J.

The Armourer & His Craft from the XIth to the XVth Century *****!
Methuen & Company, Ltd., London, 1912; now from Dover Publications, Inc., NY
Excellent! The author appreciates the design of working armour rather than drooling over pretty doodadery, explains design detail, and the work and tools of the armourer. Deals in cuirboilli ("boiled hide" not "boiled leather") and jack as well as metallic armour. T2/3

Gardiner, Robert, editor

Cogs, Caravels and Galleons; The Sailing Ship 1000-1650 ****
Conway's History of the Ship; Conway Maritime Press, London; for USA and Canada, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD; 1994; 188 pg, index, bibliography.
Actually a collection of articles written for this volume by a number of experts, it covers as well as it can a period in which information is quite spotty. However, the number of reproduction ships which have sailed should have provided more hard data than this has. T2

Hogg, Ian V.

The History of Fortification ***
St. Martin's Press, NY, 1981
Clear, interesting and accurate overview from 7000 BC through the 1970's, well illustrated with photos and diagrams; bibliography and glossary. T2

Irving, Washington

Go To Project GutenbergHistory of the Conquest of Granada ***
Originally 1850
Well-researched in Spain, from manuscript records, this work de-mythologized the final extinguishing of Islamic power in Spain in the later 1400s, but with verve. T2

Phillips, Carla Rahn

Six Galleons for the King of Spain: Imperial Defense in the Early Seventeenth Century ****
Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD; 1986; 308 pg, index, bibliography
Besides the info on galleons, carracks, shipbuilding, and sailing in general, the aftermatter includes a list of coinage, weights and measures in use in Spain at the time, mariner's wages, and "Nutritional Content of Spanish Shipboard Dietaries." Scholarly enough to be fascinating, but very readable, not just for specialists. T3

Rodgers, William Ledyard

Naval Warfare Under Oars, 4th to 16th Centuries; A Study of Strategy, Tactics and ship design ****
Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1990, orig. 1940; 358 pg, index
A classic back in print. Though this period sees the rise of real sailing, many countries still use galleys and galleasses, especially in the Mediterranean. Includes the Armada Fight. T3

Salmonson, Jessica Amanda

The Encyclopedia of Amazons: Women Warriors from Antiquity to the Modern Era *****!
Paragon House, NY, 1991; 290 pg, no index, bibliography
Some women served in the many wars secretly, as men, but there were quite a few, especially in the English Civil War, who fought openly as women, either defending their castles or raising and leading troops. This is also the period of the conquistadoras in the New World, the "roaring girls" of London, and female duellists in France. T2

Seward, Desmond

The Monks of War ****
Penguin Books, NY
Basics on the major military orders -- the Templar, Hospitallers, and the Teutonic Knights -- from their formation before the first Crusade through their present remnants. T2

Thrower, Rayner

The Pirate Picture ***
Barnes & Noble, NY, 1980; 171 pg, index, no illustrations
Contains a good deal on information beyond the introductory, but manages to sit leadenly, despite its swashbuckling, action subject. Thrower has not researched outside his immediate sphere, as when he considers it mysterious that certain Irish and Scots should be called Red Legs (it meant they went bare-legged in traditional Celtic dress, rather than wearing English styles). Bibliography is a fine guide to further reading. T2

Tincey, John

The Armada Campaign 1588 ****
Osprey, London, 1988; 64 pg, 11 colour paintings by Richard Hook
#15 in the Osprey Elite Series, the usual excellent monograph lists the ships on both sides, the major players, the Spanish invasion plans, the technical difference in cannon, etc. Necessary if you are going to cover the Armada Fight in your story, or even live in England that year. Very handy if you want to see the soldiers of the period. Illustrations on almost every page, besides the colour plates. T3

Toy, Sidney

Castles: Their Construction and History ****
Dover Publications, NY
Covers several centuries and countries, with good plans. T2

Tunis, Edwin

Weapons: a Pictorial History ***
Thomas Y. Crowell Co., NY, 1954
Some good facts, great illos by the author, fun writing. No errors, but an excellent general intro, though lacking detail. Fast and chatty coverage, especially nice if hairy-chested attitudes repel you. T1

To Main Renaissance Bibliography

To British Isles Bibliography for this period

To Bibliography of Source Documents

To Renaissance Costume Books

To Renaissance Fabric Colors

To Bibliography of Middle-Tech Skills

To Native American Cultures Bibliography

To Bibliography of Sub-Saharan Africa

To Bibliography of Northeast Asia: China, Korea, Tibet, Mongolia, etc.

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