When he compiled this bibliography, Carl A. Thimm, F.R.G.S., late Captain 2nd London Rifles, realized “from past experience how impossible it is for a work such as this to be complete.” Yet, more than one hundred years after its initial publication, A Complete Bibliography of Fencing and Duelling remains one of the preeminent books on the subject.
Thimm was a contemporary of Captain Alfred Hutton and Edgerton Castle in the late nineteenth century, when fencing and its traditions were facing competition from modern ballistic weapons. Thimm's book, A Complete Bibliography of
Fencing and Duelling, is an examination of the sport “As Practised by all European Nations from the Middle Ages to the Present Day”—the present day being 1896—as well as a chronicle of the fascinating
world of fencing and dueling. In addition to the informative bibliography, the “Notes on Fencing and Duelling” section intrigues readers with its accounts of duels as reported in various publications of the time. One story
from the September 21, 1890, edition of the Sunday Times startlingly
reveals, “After a French duel, if ‘honour has been satisfied,’ and nobody has been assassinated, a grand breakfast usually takes place.” Today, this book functions as an exemplary historical reference.
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