The last duel and the history of duelling are equally fascinating subjects and that keeps you turning the pages. Gentlemen who were all too often prepared to die or take a life rather than allow an insult to linger. A blackguard, a cad, a ruffian and in the swirling mists of the following dawn it's pistols at twelve paces.
Stupidity, romance, bloodshed, murder and criminal law. It's got a bit of everything really.
Unfortunately Martyn Beardsley tells this story without personality, simply reporting the facts and repeating press reports and courtroom transcripts from the time. It's a bit like sitting through what should be the most interesting lecture only to find it delivered in a sleep enducing monotone.
Still, Beardsley is knowledgeable and the mercifully brief book is very well researched. For the price it is worth a purchase just for the facts, shame about the story telling.
"Beardsley debunks the belief that duelling was strictly for men." (Yorkshire Evening Post). "Martyn Beardsley has produced an informative, modest-sized book book dealing with the noble interpretation of honour." (The Globe & Laurel).
About the Author
Martyn Beardsley has written 35 books, including Deadly Winter, the biography of the explorer Sir John Franklin.