The setting is England, 1792.
Mrs. Elphinstone pays a social call to Lady Almeria Braddock.
The call does not remain particularly social, however, when polite conversation turns to a rather sensitive subject: the truth of Braddock’s age… Oh dear.
Nerves must have been touched and tea-cups set a-rattling, as Lady Almeria challenged Elphinstone to a duel. Women were forbidden from even appearing at the site of a duel, let alone taking part, so this was scandal indeed!
“The ladies met in Hyde Park, where they first exchanged pistol shots at ten yards. Elphinstone’s ball pierced Braddock’s hat but no other damage was done. Though urged to consider a reconciliation by their seconds, the fight was not finished. Elphinstone and Braddock continued with swords, and Elphinstone was pinked in the arm. Honour satisfied, the “petticoat” duel was declared at an end. The conventions were drawn up and signed, the ladies curtsied to one another and quitted the field.” – Nene Adams
The above is taken from a fascinating website that gathers together many other examples of duelling dames throughout history. Of course I was inspired to put together a duelling-inspired gallery of temptations…
Direct links to items shown, left-to-right:
I read about this incident a little while ago, but my interest has been re-piqued by my current reading material; a biography which begins with an infamous duel and deals with the various catastrophes that follow its outcome:
I am only a little way in, but so far it is quite magnificent. Intriguing, shocking, well-researched and full to brimming with scandal – exactly the things one requires in a biography. This was a present from the be-ringleted fiance, which further shows his knowledge of my taste. 🙂
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