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The Code of Honor

John Lyde Wilson

Book Overview: 

A handbook of sorts on the rules and regulations in the refined and gentlemanly act of dueling.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .If a man be smote on one cheek in public, and he turns the other, which is also smitten, and he offers no resistance, but blesses him that so despitefully used him, I am aware that he is in the exercise of great Christian forbearance, highly recommended and enjoined by many very good men, but utterly repugnant to those feelings which nature and education have implanted in the human character. If it was possible to enact laws so severe and impossible to be evaded, as to enforce such rule of behavior, all that is honorable in the community would quit the country and inhabit the wilderness with the Indians. If such a course of conduct was infused by education into the minds of our youth, and it became praiseworthy and honorable to a man to submit to insult and indignity, then indeed the forbearance might be borne without disgrace. Those, therefore, who condemn all who do not denounce duelling in every case, should establish schools where a passive submission to force would b. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This was a short read, but an interesting one. I have often wondered about dueling, and although I still have many more questions about dueling, I have a little more insight into how it works.
The author writes of the times, and as a result sounds rather like Mr Collins, with only slightly less p...more

I really did enjoy this. It is interesting to learn about what would be considered gentlemanly in times where murder is occurring. Surprisingly enough, I even enjoyed the writing style. I would not go as far as calling this a real page turner, but I still enjoyed it.

A very short and very interesting little treatise, this dueling handbook by South Carolina governor John Lyde Wilson provides a fascinating look into one of the most romantic but also misunderstood aspects of the Antebellum South: dueling

Intended to help regulate the often chaotic rules of duell...more