Author(s): Donald Kerr
It's hard to imagine it but it's not long ago that some people in NZ were sorting out their feuds with duels. Yes duels - mostly using pistols but occasionally swords. The last one recorded was in 1935 in Auckland. These duels were fought because of too much wine; quarrels over money; casting a slur over another's character; defending a young lady's honour, throwing an orange at someone's head; and there was even a literary duel between a poet and a newspaper editor!
With illustrations by the inimitable David Elliot, The Smell of Powder: A History of Duelling in New Zealand is a gorgeous history and gift book all in one stunning package.
Auckland educated Donald Kerr has worked with rare books collections for eighteen years. Prior to that he was a teacher, and worked in publishing. He is passionate about books and enjoys long term projects in book history, especially the history of collecting and the formation of private libraries. Married to a nutritionist, and with one son, he enjoys the easy life of Dunedin. He is currently Special Collections Librarian at the University of Otago. He does not duel.