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Pistols at Dawn: A History of Duelling

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  24 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Duelling is embedded in our collective consciousness, through numerous films and books. This book traces the history of the duel from its medieval antecedents in trial by combat and chivalric tournaments. Using numerous accounts of actual duels, it shows how the arcane rules of the duel evolved.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 25th 2007 by Piatkus Books (first published January 2007)
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Iain
Jan 30, 2012 Iain rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
One of those books which I was actually reluctant to finish, it's so enjoyable. Hopton's writing starts out a little stilted in the early chapters (his habit of recapping - 'In this chapter we have looked at X. In the next we will examine Y' - is slightly reminiscent a first year essay, though he thankfully drops this quite quickly). However, it soon settles down into a suitably relaxed, anecdotal style.

And this is largely history-by-anecdote. Hopton supplies historical facts and statistics whe
...more
Becky
Aug 09, 2013 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, library
A look at the history of duelling from it's beginnings as an offshoot of trial by combat right up until the mid 20th century where it has finally just about died out. This focuses on western Europe mainly, as the subject matter necessitates although Russia and North/South America do get some attention. Some wonderful vignettes of gentlemen and officers rising at dawn to fight with honour are liberally scattered throughout the chapters; with much of the information being drawn from the court case ...more
Robert
Feb 19, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it
‘Pistols at Dawn’ is a history of duelling, starting in the middle of the 16th Century and continuing up to the end of the practice in the 1950s. It contains many interesting and often tragic anecdotes and covers in great detail the nature of the duel and the formalities with which it was fought. A whole chapter is devoted to the issuing of the challenge; another chapter to the function of seconds; and another chapter to the various different ways in which the fight was conducted, with either pi ...more
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