SAVE YOUR MONEY AND BUY Ashley Book of Knots, 640 pages.
Ashley describes every practical knot, what it looks like, where it comes from, and how to tie it.
In all, 4,000 different knots and 7,000 illustrations of shipboard knots as well as knots used by butchers, steeplejacks, electric linesmen, knitters, cobblers, surgeons, poachers, cowboys, etc.
There are photos of knots, drawing and directions for the knot on the same page, cross reference to other knots in the book, information about the knots.
Ashley doesn't call it History and Science of Knots or The Art of Knot Tying, but HE COULD HAVE DONE SO.
Ashley Book of Knots is a friendly, interesting and inspiring read, everything this book is not.
I love knots and thought, based on the reviews, that this would be worth the price to buy,
I have quite a few knot books, including the Ashley Book of Knots, which I give ********** out of *****.
The Ashley Book of Knots uses seaman's words and names for knots, so, I thought this book would help in learning the regular names.
THIS IS NOT A BOOK TO LEARN ABOUT THE HISTORY OF KNOTS.
This book is worthless....worthless...worthless, for learning history about knots, knotting and knotwork.
I was so disappointed that I took the time to write this review.
INFORMATION FROM THIS BOOK 448 pages.
This book reads, in part, "For much of mankind's history, knots and knot lore were closely linked with magic, medicine and religious beliefs."
Yet, shortly thereafter, the book lists some of WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED.
The book reads,"NOTABLE AND REGRETTABLE OMISSIONS from the list are ropemaking and rope tools, basketry, weaving, knitting, tools for knitting, AND USES OF KNOTS IN MAGIC, MEDICINE AND RELIGION." ...
"MUCH MORE COULD HAVE BEEN INCLUDED, too, on the special uses of knots made by many of the great civilizations that have flourished in world history. We were able to include a chapter on Chinese knots, but we are silent on the knotting practices of THE JAPANESE, THE INDIANS, THE ARABS, THE BABYLONIANS AND SO ON. We knew no authorities on knots of these races." ...
"Nevertheless, the eighteen essays in the book cover a very wide range of knot topics, and each deals with historical aspects of its own topic. The remote history of our subject is generally shrouded in mystery and mythology, for example, the art of making fish nets is said to have begun with Aphrodite (a Greek goddess of love and beauty), who rose from the sea each morning and gathered women around her to teach them how to make nets and to weave and spin." Our book begins with a less imaginative explanations of how mankind began to make and use knots."
WHAT KIND OF HISTORY BOOK IS THIS?
I's say a tepid one, lacking in scope, uninspiring and tiresome to read, at best.
A door stop would be a better use for it.
The authors had information on; the ice man, ancient Egyptian knots and mythological accounts, among lots of other archeological and historic sources on use of knots.
Yet the reader get NOTHING on the subjects of magic, medicine and religious beliefs, other than what I consider to be, small snippets about them, followed by snide, nasty and/or disparaging comments, like the one above about Aphrodite.
As to the information actually written in this book about knots, is just as poorly (or should I say remiss, lazily, irresponsibly, ...) researched.
Their "Less imaginative explanations" sets the tone and content of this book.
I wondered, if they had any other emotions than repellent and detestable ones while writing this book.
I had no sense of wonder, excitement or curiosity to learn more, while reading this humongous tome.
The authors of this book stated it best, when they wrote, "As far as we are aware, this is the first time that a comprehensive study of the history of knots and knotting has been attempted."
REALLY? How did they miss the Ashley Book of Knots?
Ashley Book of Knots covers many of the things that this book does, plus a lot more.
Ashley Book of Knots shows and the True Love Knot, the Hercules Knot, knots used in medicine, Chinese knots, and comments about them, in an interesting way.
I couldn't stop reading Ashley Book of Knots.
So many ways to make the same knot!
Ashley was limited in what information he had access to, but he did a scholarly and masterful job with what he did have.
If Ashley had written his book on knots today, he would have made several volumes, rather than do the job in the haphazard, lackadaisical and passionless way the authors of "History and Science of Knots" wrote theirs.
It's hard to believe that they did so poor a job, with all the information available to them in 1996.
If they had done a search on the internet, a massive amount was available, even then, online.
I have a headache, just writing this.
Skip it now, or skip it into the recycle bin later and poorer.
See the Ashley book and you'll know why I wrote this as I did.