Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Duelling - Part II


Many apologies for this late post for all you out there waiting with bated breath.

Got hung up on Prison Break last night and completely missed the boat. God, those men are either total hunks or absolute freaks.


Note: If you want to read Pistols at Dawn - Don't forget you can ask your library to order a copy for you.


Back to Duels
Duels had to be the forerunner of the cowboy shootouts, although there is someone out there saying these are a figment of Hollywood imagination. All I can say to that is, where is the romance in your soul!

Duels had rules. Gentlemen just love their rules, don’t they?
Think boxing, football, basketball. They all involve strict sets of rules and winners and losers. Heavens to Prinny!These are the modern day duels.

Perhaps one of the most important rules of dueling does not involve the mechanics of the duel itself, but rather who is allowed to duel. Dueling was the sport of the nobly born.

Of course, there were all the expected rules about distance and choice of weapons and even what kind of insult required what kind of result – wounding or death. Great choices, my dear, especially when with the state of medicine, any kind of wound could result in death. The French had 84 individual rules and the Irish rules, which were the rules most commonly used in most of Europe had 25 or so. If you check my website you will find a link to all of them.

Apparently the Germans continued a form of dueling long after everyone else had more or less given it up in favor of cricket (at least in England).

Other rules. One was not supposed to challenge a young man who was not of age nor to duel with him , if he challenged you. Also one was not supposed to challenge an aged or crippled person. Point of honor and all that stuff. Everyone else was fair game.

There are documented cases of women engaging in duels, usually with men. There is one famous case of a French opera singer named La Maupin who reportedly dealt singled handedly with a whole tavern full of men. There is a story in their somewhere.

Duels were also fought with swords and I will talk more about the gentlemanly sport of fencing next week. And will have some more pictures too.