Pirates and Swords

Sometimes, a picture says it all.

Nummy, aren’t they?

Photo is of Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone in Captain Blood, 1935. You can see the sword fight here. It’s visible that Basil Rathbone was a real fencer; Errol Flynn said, “I really can’t fence worth a damn. I just know how to make it look good.”

Regardless, it’s very unlikely sailors of that period would fence as those two did in the movie–the edged weapon of choice for sailors of the 17th and 18th centuries was the cutlass, a slashing weapon that required little training and was excellent for use in close quarters fighting. The cutlass is both shorter and heavier than, for example, the saber, which was often used by cavalry. Cutlass blades were sometimes straight, sometimes slightly curved, and sharpened on only one edge. Often, the hilt (and the wielder’s hand) was protected by a curved or basket-shaped guard.

Tomorrow, Kirstin Saell will guestblog on “Writing F/F(/M) for the Female Gaze.”

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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2 Responses to Pirates and Swords

  1. Jeannie Lin says:

    There was a "Deadliest Warrior" episode on Pirate vs. Knight. Fascinating stuff!
    The pirate lost on dueling ability but won because, well, he had blunderbuss.

  2. Victoria Janssen says:

    Oooh. Perhaps I need to hunt that up. I would assume the pirate also fought dirtier.

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