Men of Honour: A Social and Cultural History of the Duel

TitleMen of Honour: A Social and Cultural History of the Duel
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsFrevert, Ute
Number of Pages320
PublisherPolity Press

Men of Honour is a wide-ranging account of the duel and its significance, from the early modern period to the twentieth century. Ute Frevert challenges the conventional view that the practice of settling disputes by duelling had died out in Europe by the end of the nineteenth century. Focusing on Germany, she draws on newspaper reports, archives and biographies to show that duelling continued to be practised widely among bourgeoisie and nobility until at least the First World War, and even later. Frevert discusses the social function of the duel and the changes it underwent between the early modern period and the twentieth century. She describes the men who took part - from young students to officers of rank, from famous writers and poets to mature noblemen - and illustrates the different times and places they chose for their combat. She explores the meaning of the duel for the participants, and in particular the ideal of 'honour' among men which compelled so many to put their lives at great risk. Men of Honour is a detailed and vivid account of male self-images and modes of behaviour in bourgeois society. It will be welcomed by students and researchers in social and cultural history and by anyone interested in the history of duelling.

Original PublicationEhrenmänner: Das Duell in der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. München: C. H. Beck, 1991
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