The history of women's duel
Greek historian (the father of history) Herodotus wrote about the custom of one of the Greek provinces: a crowd of girls, and they fiercely fought among themselves on sticks. The Roman writer Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that the Gauls wife even stronger than their husbands - they fight with fists and feet, as well as weapon fighting with other women and with men.
The Vikings, for that matter, and other peoples of the Middle Ages, did not delve into the intricacies of the proceedings. If the litigation the parties could not come to an agreement - the plaintiff was falling all the sins of the defendant, and he denied his guilt, come into force "Holmgang" (walk around the island). In other words, the disputants went to a small island, usually specially designed and entered into a fair fight with equal arms. Who won, and that turned out to be right. This system works great for several centuries throughout Europe, eliminating the common people from the chicanery of lawyers. So, the Vikings were frequent cases when "Holmgang" women go out. But it was not easy to win seeker of truth, even if wrong, Viking. Had somehow equalize the chances. And lawmakers Vikings found a way out. Fighter-man simply lowered into a pit on the most narrow waist, so that he could not move, but at the same time lost in growth. The woman at the same time had the necessary freedom of maneuver. There was also a second way. Vikings tight left hand tied behind his back. For fencer in some XIX century, it was not it would be a nuisance, but at the time when the vast majority are not hitting slugger weapon and a shield, this limitation has been very significant. Fighter, though retained the freedom of maneuver, but perceptibly lost in defense.
Most legendary female duel is why it is considered a duel between Marquise de Nesle and the Countess de Polignac in autumn 1624. Do not share the favor of the Duke of Richelieu (who later became a cardinal), ladies, armed with swords and inviting sekundantok, went to the Bois de Boulogne, where he fought. The duel ended with the victory of the Countess, who hurt his opponent's ear. This fight was not any special, but because of Richelieu, in the notes which is referred to this case, and the memories themselves duelyantok he left a trace in history.
Countdown same chronicles female duels could lead to ancient times, when reigned matriarchy and women take a more active stance.
But as the documentary sources of that period, we can say, no, it will advance further in time. The first reliable information about women's duels belong to the XVI century. And they, by the way, dispel the myth that the pioneers in this case were French.
So, in the chronicle of the convent of St. Milan. Benedicta mentioned that May 27, 1571 the monastery came two notable senorita. They asked permission to prioress room for joint prayer. Permission was granted. But, locked in a room, senorita instead begin to pray, drew daggers and rushed at each other. When frightened nuns noise burst into the room, opened it in front of them horrifying picture: on the floor lay two bloody ladies, one of whom was dead and the other dying.
The peak of fashion ladies' duel was in the middle of the XVII century. In France, Italy, England and Germany women crossed swords or guns almost threw up on any occasion. Same dress, lovers, sidelong glance - only a part of what was the reason for the fight. Women seemed to have gone mad.
And the cruelty displayed by them duels, shocking. Of the ten duels between women had eight deaths (for comparison: men's duel ended with the murder of four cases). Women's duel, in fact, had no rules. In the course of fighting a duel to the rivals often joined their sekundantki; duelyantki greased tips swords irritating compounds to each wound caused terrible pain; deryas pistols, shot to rival until one of them is killed or seriously injured ...
Ladies so accustomed to arms, even posed for artists with swords in their hands. Jean Beraud pictures on elegant French hold the sword so at ease, as if the weapon is a common accessory for ladies attire, such as a fan or an umbrella.
Some ladies to such a degree to master the art of fencing, which begins to cause men to duels. The most famous was Mademoiselle de Maupin, has spent several successful duels with men. Her real adventures based his novel "Mademoiselle de Maupin" writer Theophile Gautier. The novel is fascinating and worth it to read it.
Russian women also know a lot about duels. Moreover, Russia is actively cultivated this kind of showdown.
It all began, what is most interesting, in far-away Germany. In June 1744 a German princess Sophia Frederic August of Anhalt-Zerbst receives a call to a duel by his second cousin, Princess Anne Ludwiga Anhalt. Nobody knows what these two do not share the girl of fifteen, but locked in the bedroom first, they began with swords to prove his innocence.
Fortunately, the princess did not have the heart to bring the case to slaughter, but it would not see Russia Catherine II, way over the time was Sophia Frederica.
And so it is with the ascension to the throne of this great Queen and began booming Russian female duels. Russian ladies fought with gusto, only in 1765 was 20 duels, 8 of which sekundantkoy was the queen herself. By the way, despite the propaganda of armed fights between women, Catherine was a tough opponent deaths. Its slogan was: "Before the first blood!", And therefore during her reign, there were only three cases of death duelyantok.
In 1770, the Princess Catherine Dashkovoj happened not very nice story. It happened in London, in the house of the Countess Pushkin, the wife of the Russian ambassador.
On a visit to the Countess came Duchess Fokson, is considered one of the most educated women in England. The reason for her visit was the desire to talk with Dashkovoj, and if possible to debate with her. After a half-hour conversation between the ladies got into a heated argument.
Rivals were worthy of each other, so the situation quickly escalated. The conversation went on a raised voice, and Englishwomen in the heat of an argument broke insulting remarks about her opponent. There was an ominous silence. The princess got up slowly and gestured to stand duchess. When she followed the request, Dashkova came close to oskorbitelnitse and struck her across the face. The Duchess, without hesitation, gave change. Countess Pushkin came to her senses only when demanded rival swords. After unsuccessful attempts to reconcile women, she still gave them weapons and ran into the garden. The bout did not last long and ended Dashkovoj wound in the shoulder.
After the era of Catherine II women's duel in Russia has undergone dramatic changes.
Russian women liked the duel. Women's shelter is armed fights steel ladies' salons. The most successful of St. Petersburg society ladies. So, in the salon of Madame Vostrouhovoy (unfortunately, detailed information about this woman is not) only in 1823 were 17 (!) Duels. The notes of a French marquis de Mortain, who often raided this place, says: "The Russian ladies love to sort things out among themselves by force of arms. Their duel do not carry any grace that can be observed in French women, but only blind rage aimed at the destruction of rivals ».
Marquis, like many of her compatriots, in his notes to exaggerate. Unlike French women, Russian ladies are rarely brought the fight to slaughter, and relatively grace is debatable. The fact is that in those years in France in vogue duel in which women fought half-naked, and later completely naked. Whether it adds elegance - a moot point, but according to all the same Marquise de Mortain, fights purchased piquancy.
In general, information about what happened in the first half of the XIX century in the field of women's duel in Russia is very scarce and often falsified, but something that can be found.
Between the landowner, Olga Petrovna Zavarova and Yekaterina Polesov, for several years there were conflicts. In the end, their tensions resulted in a major quarrel that led to a duel. Armed with swords and their husbands accompanied sekundantok, with which were very young mademoiselle, and his 14-year-old daughter, rivals met in a birch grove. After some preparations sekundantki ladies offered to make up for those refused, and, moreover, started a squabble among themselves. In the midst of the scandal woman drew his sword and began to fight. Real did not last long.
Olga was severely wounded in the head and Yekaterina in the stomach. The first died on the spot, while her opponent a day later.
Continuation of this story happened in five years. It is at the same place swords crossed two girls - daughters rivals. Sekundantkami were the same governess.
The result of the match was the death of Anna Polesov and its rival Alexander Zavarova subsequently brought it this story in your blog.
- Ladies, the barrier! said a stout woman, looking at the rivals, who looked with interest pistols, which they have just given.
Five minutes later, one of them lying without signs of life. Thus ended the life of a young actress Anastasia Malevsky Mariinsky Theatre. Absurd death at the hands of not less than the young person, who was passing through St. Petersburg, whose name no one even remembered. The reason of the duel was a young man, which was not indifferent Malevskaya, and next to it had the misfortune to be a stranger. Minute flash of jealousy, verbal skirmish - and that same evening the girls aim at each other with pistols.
Duel on the nails
Duels of men between women were particularly violent, just wound did not satisfy any of the competitors. Only death could clear the way to the heart of the elect. If death did not satisfy any of the parties, then resorted to sophisticated techniques.
Friendship famous French writer George Sand with the great composer Liszt led her to cruel fight. Marie d'Agoult, mistress of the composer to him jealous Sand and called her to a duel, choosing as a weapon sharp nails. Rivals met in the home of Liszt, who locked himself in his office and left only when women become quiet. Victory in this battle is not won one, but George Sand decided to leave the path temperamental Countess.
Duel in the pen-knives
Spring 1894. Petersburg. Two young saleswoman decided to find out their relationship duel. Armed with penknives, they met in a suburban park. The duel ended with one of them received three wounds in the chest, and her opponent in the neck and shoulder. Both survived, but the subject of their dispute, the young dandy, disappeared from the city in an unknown direction.
As one of the experts duels: "If we take into account a lot of irritation that so often accompanies the relationship between women, we are surprised that they are still relatively rare fight a duel, which is a valve passions».