SPADA: Anthology of Swordsmanship, vol. 1
Stephen Hand, ed.

Chivalry Bookshelf, 2002
ISBN 1891448374

SPADA: Anthology of Swordsmanship, vol. 2
Stephen Hand, ed.

Chivalry Bookshelf, 2005
ISBN 1891448358

A compendium of essays related to the reconstruction of historical European swordsmanship put together by Swordplay Symposium International; two volumes have been released thus far, with, I presume, more on the way. Both are excellent additions to the WMAist's library. The idea behind SPADA was to use a peer-review journal format to encourage real scholarship, and it does a great job.

Authors in the first volume include Ewart Oakeshott (to whom this volume is dedicated), Gregory Mele, Stephen Hand, Steve Hick, Paul Wagner, Russell Mitchell, John Clements, William Wilson, and Ramon Martinez. It presents twelve essays on various aspects of European martial arts, and the progress the community has made in interpreting them. Besides containing Oakeshott's last published work, the highlight of the volume is, in my opinion Paul Wagner and Stephen Hand's essay regarding shield use. Interpretations have changed since the article was published, but the methodology is sound.

Authors in the second volume include Richard Swinney, Scott Crawford, Linda McCollum, Tommaso Leoni, Stephen Hand, Mary and "Puck" Curtis, Gary Chelak, Paul Wagner, and Christopher Thompson. Nothing about this follow-up to the first volume is disappointing; it is the same level of scholarship presented in the first volume. Highlights include Richard Swinney and Scott Crawford's essay on historical wounds, and Tommaso Leoni gives us an essay about the partisan, "The Forgotten Weapon." Stephen Hand returns with further notes on shield usage.

Both are highly recommended, but don't expect to get one volume and not want the other; like chapters in an ongoing book, the whole is greater than the parts. However, with the quality of these volumes, we can definitely expect good things from SPADA 3.