Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) is based on reading source material to recreate the lost martial arts of Europe. While reading the treatises and performing depicted techniques helps understand HEMA, there is more to it. The sources were not written and illustrated in a vacuum, but rather in a rich and complicated world. Historical European Martial Arts in its Context places the sources in a time and place with details about single-combat, duels, tournaments, self-defense, war as well as the Masters and their treatises. Richard Marsden approaches the 'why' behind the treatises and delves into Europe's martial culture from the 14th through 18th century. HEMA is thus explored on the blood-soaked fields of battle, in the dark alleys of dangerous cities, and under the shade of trees where illicit duels might be fought.