The Last Duel: A True Story of Death and Honour

Front Cover
Canongate, 2005 - History - 304 pages
2 Reviews
The Last Duel is a compelling investigation of one of Europe’s last recorded fatal duels by a BBC correspondent delving into his own family history. Using newly discovered archives and his family records and lore, James Landale reconstructs in vivid detail the deadly encounter between a Scottish merchant named David Landale and his banker in 1826, while also exploring the cultural and social circumstances that might explain why two rational, educated men might choose to resolve a minor business dispute by shooting at each other. Tracing the story of dueling itself, from its origins to its sudden loss of social legitimacy in the middle of the nineteenth century, Landale penetrates the curious concept called honor, which drove so many young men to an early death. The Last Duel is an utterly engrossing investigative history that, for the modern reader, renders the personal, social, and historical landscape of the time with an adept and revealing accuracy.

What people are saying - Write a review

The Last Duel: A True Story of Death and Honour

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Given the subject matter, Landale (correspondent, BBC) has written a surprisingly amusing and comprehensive history of an ancestor who participated in one of the last duels in Great Britain. The duel ... Read full review

Review: The Last Duel: A True Story of Death and Honour

User Review  - Sinistmer - Goodreads

Well-written and addresses the history of dueling as a custom quite well. I also liked the description of the story of this individual duel. Great mix of personal family history and historical analysis. Read full review

Bibliographic information