The Last Duel: A True Story of Death And Honour
Canongate Books Limited
, 2005 - History
- 304 pages
"In 1826 a merchant named David Landale shot his banker dead in a duel. It was one of the final fatal duels recorded in Europe." "Two centuries later, one of his descendants, James Landale, a BBC correspondent, explains why two rational, educated men chose to resolve a business dispute by shooting at each other. Using newly discovered archives and personal family history, The Last Duel reconstructs the escalating words and deeds that led to the fatal encounter as well as the cultural, social, and economic circumstances surrounding it. In a personal, and involving narrative, Landale paints a complete picture of life as a businessman, educated citizen, and man of honour at a time when civil courts all but did not exist and commerce was exploding. Landale interweaves the bloody history of dueling itself, from its barbaric beginnings to its acceptance by the nobility, and goes on to explain why, in the middle of the nineteenth century, it suddenly lost its social legitimacy."--BOOK JACKET.