hey say it gets lonely on the road.
Actually, it seems that it doesn’t – at least when you are surrounded by friends, patrons and fellow enthusiasts of the sword. It just gets sle
After a busy spring, summer was largely taken up with one of the most onerous tasks of the publishing industry: production snafus! No one likes when a project goes astray; it’s a hundred times worse when technology, third parties and just pure bad-luck are to blame.
So, when the going gets tough, the tough mix a little business with pleasure in the infamous “sales trip”.
In August, we were off to the hills of western Pennsylvania for the Society for Creative Anachronism’s 40th annual “Pennsic War”. Pennsic is a hard thing to explain if you’ve never been there: a 12,000 person tent-city that is a unique combination of reenactment, Renaissance Faire and Burning Man festival all rolled into one!
(I told you it was hard to explain!)
Over the years, Pennsic has also become an increasingly hospitable home for students of historical European martial arts to meet and exchange ideas, whether they are reenactors or not.
Ergo, we dusted off our doublets, practiced our “Huzzahs” and yet again imposed upon our friends at Revival Clothing to host the Freelancers and our wares in the Pennsic merchant court. To the left you can see us at our dashing, knightly best. (We clean up pretty well, don’t we?)
This year there were HEMA-related classes running throughout the two weeks of the events, including many taught by all four of your friendly-neighborhood Freelancers:
- Last year it was big shields and paired swords; this year Tom taught classes on Bolognese sword and buckler and the history of the judicial duel in Italy.
- Greg taught a very well-received class on Italian Spear Fencing, and another on the one-handed swordplay of Fiore dei Liberi, designed to give new student a quick and easy method of wielding the arming sword without a buckler or shield;
- Christian took a similar tact in his class on the Glasgow Messer Treatise, which is an entire curriculum in miniature for this unique, falchion-like weapon. Christian also taught additional classes on the German longsword and the dagger material in Peter Falkner’s Fechtbuch.
- Finally, Adam taught four hours of classes on the rapier and rapier and dagger of Salvator Fabris, each building on those preceding it.
Of course, there were many other classes and instructors, such as those by our friends Scott Wilson and Dr Ken Mondschein. I wish I could say that we saw them all, or even many of them, but contrary to what everyone thinks, this really was a working trip, so if we weren’t playing instructor, we were generally inside the booth.
A huge thanks to all of you who met us with sword – or book – in hand, came to our wine and cheese soiree, or just popped your head inside the tent to tell you us you appreciate our work. It really does make a difference!
(And of course, special thanks to our hosts at Revival Clothing, without whom we’d have been selling books out under the stars; and we all know that paper and rain do not mix.)