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About Ben Miller
BEN MILLER is an American filmmaker and author. He is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, was the winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant for screenwriting, and has worked for notable personages such as Martin Scorsese and Roger Corman. For the last twelve years, Miller has studied fencing at the Martinez Academy of Arms, one of the last places in the world still teaching an authentic living tradition of classical fencing. He has served as the Academy’s chef de salle, and has authored articles for the Association of Historical Fencing, focusing on the fencing and dueling of the American colonial period. He is the author of "Irish Swordsmanship: Fencing and Dueling in Eighteenth Century Ireland" (Hudson Society Press, 2017), and one of the authors of "Scottish Fencing: Five 18th Century Texts on the Use of the Small-sword, Broadsword, Spadroon, Cavalry Sword, and Highland Battlefield Tactics" (Hudson Society Press, 2018). He is the editor of "Self-Defense for Gentlemen and Ladies: A Nineteenth-Century Treatise on Boxing, Kicking, Grappling, and Fencing with the Cane and Quarterstaff" (North Atlantic Books, 2015), containing the writings of the noted duelist and fencing master, Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery. He wrote the foreword to the republication of Donald McBane’s classic martial arts treatise, "The Expert Sword-Man's Companion: Or the True Art of Self-Defence" (New York: Jared Kirby Rare Books, 2017). Miller’s articles about fencing and martial arts history can be found on the websites martialartsnewyork.org and outofthiscentury.wordpress.com.
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Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery was a master swordsman who participated in more than fifty duels, fought under twelve flags, battled gangsters, and was constantly involved in the great conflicts and upheavals of his time. In the 1870s, he began writing his magnum opus—a series of newspaper articles that are now collected here for the first time in Self-Defense for Gentleman and Ladies.
In this book, Colonel Monstery presents a unique look into the Victorian-era fighting world. He describes styles such as British “purring” (shin-kicking), Welsh jump-kicking, and American rough-and-tumble fighting, in addition to providing illustrated instruction in the art of gentlemanly self-defense with a cane, staff, or one’s bare hands. Fifty rare drawings and photographs from the period illuminate Monstery’s world, while an extensive glossary of terms and an introductory biography of Colonel Monstery—including fascinating details of his many duels as well as his groundbreaking devotion to teaching fencing and self-defense skills to women—update his text to make it accessible and useful to gentlemen and ladies of any era.
Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery: The Unknown American Martial Arts Master
II. The Logic of Boxing.
III. Standing and Striking.
IV. Advancing to Strike and Feinting.
V. Simple Parries in Boxing.
VI. Parries with Returns.
VII. Effective or Counter Parries in Boxing.
VIII. Offence and Defense by Evasions.
IX. Trips, Grips, and Back-Falls.
X. Rules for a Set-to with Gloves.
XI. Observations on Natural Weapons.
XII. The Use of the Cane.
XIII. The Use of the Cane (continued).
XIV. The Use of the Staff.
XV. The Use of the Staff (continued).
Appendix: Monstery's Rules for Contests of Sparring and Fencing
Of this classic adventure novel, now in print again for the first time in more than a century, one modern scholar has favorably written:
“A curious work that reads (apart from occasional romantic elements) much like an authentic account by one of the early nineteenth-century travelers in Central America...It is one of the very few dime novels worth reading for their own merit.” - Everett Franklin Bleiler, Science-fiction, the Early Years
This edition has been annotated, and contains a new, extensive introduction by the editor. Drawing upon a wealth of previously unknown sources, Monstery’s historical activities in Spanish America have been chronicled in greater detail than ever before, so that readers can now dissect the facts of his real life from the fiction of his novel. The text has also been supplemented with numerous rare photographs and engravings from the period.