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Respect, Manliness and Honor
on February 26, 2011
From Achilles versus Hector to Tiger versus Phil, the mano a mano duel has at some level always played a role in the world we live in. Barbara Holland's Gentleman's Blood is a scintillating read that takes a peek into a culture of respect, manliness and honor. One based on the Code Duello that gentleman must abide by or risk disgrace. A culture in which it was better to be shot at, stabbed, or gutted by a bowie knife than to decline an interview with an opposing principal and risk humiliation.
It was very interesting to read how dueling was a global phenomena and not just limited to certain regions. Great Britain, France, Italy, Russia, Germany, and the United States all had dueling stamped as a part of their life. Each of these countries had their own idiosyncrasies to the art of dueling which Holland explores. The book is full of dueling tales such as the Burr/Hamilton duel , Clay/Randolph, Hatfields/McCoys and many lesser known but equally compelling ones. The absurdity of some of them had me laughing out loud several times. It's a light read that is well written and flows nicely. This is the first Barbara Holland book I have read and I intend to read a couple more as she has an amusing charm in the way she writes. Enjoy.