Thursday, 22 July 2010

What a waster...

Next week turned into next month, next month turned into next season, and this blog nearly turned into one of the umpteen blogs that died after the first couple of posts, taking up a name that another prospective blogger had their heart set on (for a prime example go to goldensun.blogspot.com: I'm guessing we're not going to find out if Mellanie's boyfriend ever began to understand her). I wish I could blame a busy schedule for my but in truth it is laziness  that is the cause of the lack of updates. So much for a blog motivating me to paint up the lead pile, after 4 months I've painted six sets of hands and faces, 6 waistcoats and basecoated one tunic. I hereby swear, before all several of you, that by this time next month I will have painted one SYW unit (no excuses).

Shwerin at the Battle of Prague from the book by Kugler (see below)

The main reason for this post after so long is that I started searching for more books after I had had the SYW on the brain while booking rail tickets to go to Foundry's open day in Nottingham tomorrow. I almost immediately stumbled upon Kugler's Life of Frederick the Great. This book is the source of all the beautifully evocative Menzel prints that you see in the Ospreys on the Prussian Army of the Seven Years War. The sheer number of them is staggering; there is an illustration every couple of its  four hundred and odd pages, with lovely old-fashioned picture letters at the beginning of each chapter. 

 The greatest ever letter D

This letter U makes me wish my employer would rethink it's Arial only policy. I'd love to submit a report where the boss is confronted with a Prussian Grenadier staring blankly back at him.

A cursory glance makes it seem like the book is a nice easy read, full of the little anecdotes that make the period such a joy to read about. I doubt i'll be able to read much of it off of a nauseating computer screen, though. A link to the book is below, along with links to a few more:

Franz Kugler, illustrated by  Adolph Menzel

Henri de Catt
(Thanks to David of Not by Appointment for this book which gives real insights into Frederick's character)

The History of the Seven Years War in Germany (1843)
Johann Wilhelm von Archenholz, Frederic Adam Catty


Sir Julian Stafford Corbett

14 comments:

  1. Hi Adam,

    The Kugler with the Menzel illustrations is a nice volume (though far too hagiographical about Frederick!). It's a pity the illustrations are not crisper in the PDF. I picked up a Victorian copy of the book for £1 some years ago and the originals are beautifully detailed. I would like the time to scan all the illustrations at high resolution and be able to offer them as high quality PNGs - but it's another time consuming project that will have to wait, sadly. (And lots of scanning is the most utterly tedious task, of course... ;-))

    And good luck with the figure painting!

    Cheers,

    David.

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  2. A pound? A pound?! You lucky so-and-so.

    You're quite right about the quality. The lighter ones aren't bad but the ones which are quite dark just turn into a bit of a black blob, and you can't really tell what they are.

    Thanks for commenting, David.

    Adam

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  3. Hi Adam,

    Yes, it was lucky - though sadly it was from a brilliant s/h bookshop (with an excellent military history section) in Bury St Edmunds that I'd known from university days back in the late '70s and the visit when I bought the Kugler some years ago was the last as the next time I got there the shop had gone. The chap had retired, apparently, and no-one wanted to buy the business. When I first found the shop in the '70s I missed a copy of Duffy's "The Wild Goose and the Eagle" at £2.50 - just didn't have the money at the time. (That was a fair bit of money then, especially for a student...) I wish I could go back and buy it!

    If you'd like any of the Menzel illustrations as really good quality images, let me know and I'll scan them for you.

    Cheers,

    David.

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  4. Thanks for the offer, David, but don't worry about having to endure the tedium of repeated scanning. I found an old copy of it on Abebooks.co.uk for £20 and I think it's nicer to have things like that in your hand rather than on a screen, if you can.

    Thanks again
    Adam

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  5. Hi Adam,

    Yes, despite the rumours of its imminent demise, the book has life left in it yet; like you, I don't think that digital data can replace them!

    £20 sounds quite reasonable, really, given the prices many AbeBooks' dealers are asking for Kugler/Menzel.

    Cheers,

    David.

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  6. Huh? What day is it? Oh, you've woke me up. Well , I am the same way more or less. No post since April on mine either, even though I have a few ideas ready to execute one of these days. Maybe I should.

    Also the name thing happened to me as well, and I had to make it even longer and harder to remember.

    On your name, I recall there being some doubt in various sources that the story of which inn we should be remembering is correct. And then from source to source the 'correct' story even varies. Sort of like the Blenheim/Blindheim, Bunker/Breed's thing. I wonder if anyone has Bloody Pond for ACW.

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  7. @mekelnborg
    Keep at it mate, it'll be good to see some more from you.

    @David
    I'd like to agree with you that £20 is a reasonable price but I won't tempt fate until I've seen what state it's in ;)

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  8. Hi Adam,

    Hope it proves to be in good condition! I was lucky with mine - it's in perfect, almost new condition (astonishingly so for a book 150 years old). Fingers crossed!

    Cheers,

    David.

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  9. Thanks, David. It's arrived and is in a lot better condition than I thought it would be (expect the worst and you'll never be dissappointed!). A small tear at the bottom of the spine, slightly scuffed corners but the text (and, more importantly, the pictures) are in great condition.

    Thanks
    Adam

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  10. Hi Adam,

    That's very good! Definitely worth the £20! (But the hagiographical text does need to be read with the proverbial pinch of salt...) :-)

    Cheers,

    David
    http://nba-sywtemplates.blogspot.com/

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  11. Yeah, I'll be careful when I'm going through (though its slant does jump out at you immediately), but as I'm re-reading Duffy's Military Life at the moment a more accurate picture of Frederick should still be lingering in my head. I also bought a 1986 hardback reprint of the Knotel and Rochling prints of Frederick's life but the thing was so long and thin that it got bent during transit from Germany. :(

    Adam

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  12. Hi Adam,

    Yes indeed, it doesn't exactly disguise the bias, does it? ;-) The Duffy is definitely a rather more impressive text [understatement of the millennium? One of my favourite books on the period...].

    Ah yes - I'd like a printed copy of the Knotel and Rochling too; must look out for it on Abe Books. Sorry to hear yours was damaged; very frustrating. There is quite a good quality version of it online.

    Cheers,

    David.

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