The Devil Himself: A Tale of Honor, Insanity, and the Birth of Modern America (New Narratives in American History)

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9780190210786: The Devil Himself: A Tale of Honor, Insanity, and the Birth of Modern America (New Narratives in American History)

Nicholas Dukes and Captain Adam Nutt were two men with much in common. Both were prominent members of Pennsylvanian society in the 1880s, both had studied law under the same mentor, and both shared an intimate connection to the beautiful Lizzie Nutt: Dukes was her debonair fiancé, Nutt her doting father. Yet Dukes soured on Lizzie during their engagement and resolved to rid himself of his betrothed. He penned a scandalous letter to Captain Nutt accusing Lizzie of sexual transgressions with no fewer than seven suitors, himself included. Such were her charms of seduction, Dukes claimed, that she "would disarm the devil himself." Nutt was not one to suffer lightly an affront to his family. He fired back, "I have always held that when a man invades the sanctity of a home, he takes his life in his hands, and under this code, I shall act." In their shared village of Uniontown, Nutt confronted Dukes in a duel that would lead to one man's death and the other's sensational murder trial. Using the Dukes-Nutt affair, the book explores the role of honor in a society hesitating at the threshold between past and future.

The New Narratives in American History series aims to reimagine the craft of writing history by providing compelling tales told by scholars. These brief books rely on a sustained narrative to illuminate a larger historical theme or controversy.

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About the Author:


Andrew Porwancher is Assistant Professor of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma.

Review:

"In this intriguing book, Andrew Porwancher vividly narrates a classic story of lust, seduction, rage, murder, and law in a confusing time of rapid technological and social change. Although resonating with our own age, these themes belong to a tale of the Gilded Age, when local communities
tried to defend old ways against the relentless advance of modernity."
--Alan Taylor, author of The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History

"An intensely personal tale that illuminates larger issues of its time and place. Andrew Porwancher deftly handles the particulars of this story of love and retribution, and he is no less able in linking his characters and their actions to the unfolding themes of life in the Gilded Age."
--H.W. Brands, author of Traitor to His Class: The Priviledged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Biography

"If you like murders and American history, this is the book for you. One part bodice-ripper; one part cultural history of honor; one part exploration of the 19th century criminal trial: what could be better?"
--Noah Feldman, author of Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices, winner of the Silver Gavel Award

"The author has a clear, lucid writing style and sufficiently explains terms necessary to understanding the period. [Porwancher] does a great job of explaining terms, in providing good examples, and the material is presented in an engaging style."
--Stephen D. Engel, Florida Atlantic University

"[Porwancher] has done well here to find a seemingly small moment in the Nutt-Dukes affair and tease it out to broader significance... This is a new story for us, and told well."
--Dr. Jeffrey A. Johnson, Providence College

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Nicholas Dukes and Captain Adam Nutt were two men with much in common. Both were prominent members of Pennsylvanian society in the 1880s, both had studied law under the same mentor, and both shared an intimate connection to the beautiful Lizzie Nutt: Dukes was her debonair fiance, Nutt her doting father. Yet Dukes soured on Lizzie during their engagement and resolved to rid himself of his betrothed. He penned a scandalous letter to Captain Nutt accusing Lizzie of sexual transgressions with no fewer than seven suitors, himself included. Such were her charms of seduction, Dukes claimed, that she would disarm the devil himself. Nutt was not one to suffer lightly an affront to his family. He fired back, I have always held that when a man invades the sanctity of a home, he takes his life in his hands, and under this code, I shall act. In their shared village of Uniontown, Nutt confronted Dukes in a duel that would lead to one man s death and the other s sensational murder trial. Using the Dukes-Nu. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780190210786

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Nicholas Dukes and Captain Adam Nutt were two men with much in common. Both were prominent members of Pennsylvanian society in the 1880s, both had studied law under the same mentor, and both shared an intimate connection to the beautiful Lizzie Nutt: Dukes was her debonair fiance, Nutt her doting father. Yet Dukes soured on Lizzie during their engagement and resolved to rid himself of his betrothed. He penned a scandalous letter to Captain Nutt accusing Lizzie of sexual transgressions with no fewer than seven suitors, himself included. Such were her charms of seduction, Dukes claimed, that she would disarm the devil himself. Nutt was not one to suffer lightly an affront to his family. He fired back, I have always held that when a man invades the sanctity of a home, he takes his life in his hands, and under this code, I shall act. In their shared village of Uniontown, Nutt confronted Dukes in a duel that would lead to one man s death and the other s sensational murder trial. Using the Dukes-Nu. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780190210786

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Nicholas Dukes and Captain Adam Nutt were two men with much in common. Both were prominent members of Pennsylvanian society in the 1880s, both had studied law under the same mentor, and both shared an intimate connection to the beautiful Lizzie Nutt: Dukes was her debonair fiance, Nutt her doting father. Yet Dukes soured on Lizzie during their engagement and resolved to rid himself of his betrothed. He penned a scandalous letter to Captain Nutt accusing Lizzie of sexual transgressions with no fewer than seven suitors, himself included. Such were her charms of seduction, Dukes claimed, that she would disarm the devil himself. Nutt was not one to suffer lightly an affront to his family. He fired back, I have always held that when a man invades the sanctity of a home, he takes his life in his hands, and under this code, I shall act. In their shared village of Uniontown, Nutt confronted Dukes in a duel that would lead to one man s death and the other s sensational murder trial. Using the Dukes-Nu. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780190210786

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