Stock Image

Touché: The Duel in Literature

Leigh, John

Published by Harvard University Press
ISBN 10: 0674504380 / ISBN 13: 9780674504387
New / Hardcover / Quantity Available: 3
From Kennys Bookstore (Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Available From More Booksellers
View all  copies of this book
Add to basket
List Price:
Price: £ 22.99
Convert Currency
Shipping: £ 0
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

Save for Later

About the Book

Bibliographic Details

Title: Touché: The Duel in Literature

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New


Many of the West's best writers fought in duels or wrote about them, seduced by glamour or risk or recklessness. A gift as a plot device, the duel also offered a way to discover how we face fears of humiliation, pain, and death. John Leigh's literary history of the duel illuminates these and other tensions attending the birth of the modern world. Num Pages: 342 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: DSBD; JHBT. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 245 x 163 x 32. Weight in Grams: 648. . 2015. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780674504387

About this title:

Book ratings provided by GoodReads:
4 avg rating
(2 ratings)


The monarchs of seventeenth-century Europe put a surprisingly high priority on the abolition of dueling, seeing its eradication as an important step from barbarism toward a rational state monopoly on justice. But it was one thing to ban dueling and another to stop it. Duelists continued to kill each other with swords or pistols in significant numbers deep into the nineteenth century. In 1883 Maupassant called dueling ?the last of our unreasonable customs.? As a dramatic and forbidden ritual from another age, the duel retained a powerful hold on the public mind and, in particular, the literary imagination.

Many of the greatest names in Western literature wrote about or even fought in duels, among them Corneille, Molière, Richardson, Rousseau, Pushkin, Dickens, Hugo, Dumas, Twain, Conrad, Chekhov, and Mann. As John Leigh explains, the duel was a gift as a plot device. But writers also sought to discover in duels something more fundamental about human conflict and how we face our fears of humiliation, pain, and death. The duel was, for some, a social cause, a scourge to be mocked or lamented; yet even its critics could be seduced by its risk and glamour. Some conservatives defended dueling by arguing that the man of noble bearing who cared less about living than living with honor was everything that the contemporary bourgeois was not. The literary history of the duel, as Touché makes clear, illuminates the tensions that attended the birth of the modern world.

About the Author: John Leigh is University Lecturer in the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages, University of Cambridge.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Bookseller & Payment Information

Payment Methods

This bookseller accepts the following methods of payment:

  • American Express
  • MasterCard
  • Visa

[Search this Seller's Books]

[List this Seller's Books]

[Ask Bookseller a Question]

Bookseller: Kennys Bookstore
Address: Olney, MD, U.S.A.

AbeBooks Bookseller Since: 09 October 2009
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating

Terms of Sale:

We guarantee the condition of every book as it's described on the Abebooks web
sites. If you're dissatisfied with your purchase (Incorrect Book/Not as
Described/Damaged) or if the order hasn't arrived, you're eligible for a refund
within 30 days of the estimated delivery date. For any queries please use the contact seller link or send an email to,

Conor Kenny

Shipping Terms:

All books securely packaged. Some books ship from Ireland.

Store Description: We carry a comprehensive range of out of print and rare books.