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A humorous and instructive guide to Elizabethan etiquette which should interest gentlemen of any century'
James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of Shakespeare
A Gentleman's Guide to Duelling is a beautifully illustrated, lyrical guide to duelling etiquette in Elizabethan England. Its author, Vincentio Saviolo, was one of the great Italian fencing masters and a contemporary of William Shakespeare. In the 1590s, both Saviolo and Shakespeare were based in London's Blackfriars; and Shakespeare used Italian fencing terminology in Romeo & Juliet which was written shortly after Saviolo's book was published.
Originally published under the title Of Honour and Honourable Quarrels Saviolo's guide is devoted to the art of settling a duel in a gentlemanly manner. It was written in a time when honour, virtue and codes of behaviour were of grave importance; and rapier play was seen as ideally suited to the requirements of a gentleman.
This new edition has updated the Elizabethan language to modern British English in order to make it more accessible to today's reader and includes explanatory annotations. Preceding the guide is the most comprehensive biography on Saviolo ever compiled: many suppositions and misnomers have been spread for hundreds of years and Kirby has gone back to the primary source material to finally uncover the truth about Vincentio Saviolo.
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