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The Duel: A History of Duelling

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  13 ratings  ·  2 reviews
A little over a century ago, the extinction of duelling would have struck Europeans and Americans as inconceivable. Despite the fact that arguments over its rights and wrongs had gone on for nearly thousand years, duelling was firmly embedded in the European concept of justice. And as Robert Baldick makes clear in the book, the centuries-long hold that dueling was full of ...more
Published 1970 by Hamlyn Publishing Group (first published 1965)
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Adam Zabell
tl;dr - a dated historical reference, good for when wikipedia goes down

There are a lot of anecdotes which arose from 18th and 19th c duels in France, England, and the United States, with a handful from other centuries and European locations. It was a fun read, but if you want scholarship you'll need to look elsewhere. And many of the facts he presents, even if believed accurate when written in 1965, are now well out of date. If you like reading history that has itself become historic, this works
This is a wonderfully readable history, a mixture of dueling lore as well as accounts of famous duels. There were strict codes that governed dueling, and Baldick recounts the evolution of dueling through the centuries, examining how it developed as new weapons were employed, as well as changes in the legal status of dueling.

Baldick includes many accounts of the most famous duels in Britain, Russia, France, and elsewhere, including what is undoubtedly America's most famous duel between Hamilton
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Robert Baldick was a British scholar of French literature, writer, joint editor of the Penguin Classics series with Betty Radice, and a well-known translator. He was a Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford.
He wrote eight books including biographies of Joris-Karl Huysmans, Frederick Le Maitre and Henry Murger and a history of the Siege of Paris.

In addition, Baldick edited and translated The Goncourt
More about Robert Baldick...
The Life of J.-K. Huysmans The Siege of Paris The First Bohemian: The Life of Henry Murger Dinner At Magny's The Goncourts (Studies in Modern European Literature & Thought)

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