Synopses & Reviews
Celibacy is a worldwide practice that is often adopted, rarely discussed. Now, in Elizabeth Abbott's fascinating and wide-ranging history, it is examined in all its various forms: shaping religious lives, conditioning athletes and shamans, surfacing in classical poetry and camp literature, resonating in the voices of castrati, and permeating ancient mythology. Found in every society of the past, practiced by both the anonymous and the legendary (St. Catherine, Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, Elizabeth I, Gandhi), celibacy has as many stories as adherents, and Abbott weaves them into a provocative, seamless tapestry that brings history alive.
First time in paperback: "An ambitious and wide-ranging history" (The New Yorker) of 3000 years of celibacy, from the vestal virgins of Rome to contemporary athletes
About the Author
Elizabeth Abbott has a Ph.D. in history and is Dean of Women at Trinity College, University of Toronto. She is the author of several books and lives in Toronto.