Monday, October 1, 2012


I was fascinated with archery when I was a kid, probably because of Robin Hood movies. Actually, I can only recall one – starring Errol Flynn – but I know there were a number of medieval movies made, all of whom featured archers. And on top of that, there were historical novels such as Arthur Conan Doyle’s little known The White Company and Sir Nigel which, once again, featured the mighty prowess of Britain’s bowmen. One of Conan Doyle’s favorite themes in these stories was comparing the merits of the longbow and the cross-bow. He was, in fact, very fair to the cross-bow, but his favorite was undoubtedly the longbow.

Needless to say, when small, I made numerous bows – none of which were much good. Later, in my early teens, I tried the real thing, and was truly staggered at how hard it was to even draw the bow, let alone achieve a high degree of accuracy. It gave me a whole new perspective on the many years of hard work that must have gone into training an English archer. I have read that it took at least ten years to achieve the standard of competence one needed in combat, and I can well believe it. In fact, I think it highly likely that one needed a couple of decades, or more, to become really expert.

Sound like writing to me.




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