Monday, February 15, 2010
How do we solve a problem like Maria? Duelling nuns, 1869
Back with The Illustrated Police News, August 14th, 1869, and one of their more incredible yarns, a tale of two nuns from a convent near Genoa, who 'carried their animosity to such an extent that naught could pacify them save a duel with pistols. The combatants exchanged shots, but no blood was shed'.
Well, I suppose it is possible: the women involved might not have had any real vocation, but might have been placed in their convent to save a dowry having to be paid, or after an early indiscretion. Anyone might get tetchy in such circumstances. And perhaps you could say that the absence of detail in the story is in a strange way authenticating, for what convent would let details slip of such a scandal?
Anyway, here they are, as envisaged by the busy artist of this scandalous rag. The pistols are, I suppose, disappointing - could they have not gone at it with something more befitting their calling?
At least no-one was hurt. I wonder what they had to do for penance? Endure one another, I suppose.