Around a Room in Forty-two Days
A Journey around My Room was the unlikely result of a duel. In 1790 Xavier de Maistre, a 27-year-old officer in the Army of Piedmont, fell out with someone over something, somewhere in Turin. One party called the other out, a duel was fought, and thus an offence was committed which merited punishment. De Maistre was sentenced to six weeks’ house arrest. Scarcely cruel and unusual, in that he was allowed the comforts of his own room, the company of his dog Rosine and the devoted attention of his manservant Joannetti. Still, for a full-blooded young man forced to cool his heels for forty-two long days and nights with only four walls to stare at, the prospect must have seemed a miserable one.