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Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of…

Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children

by Michael Newton

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This book is ostensibly about feral children throughout the ages. In reality, Newton is so enthralled with the philosophical and psychological possibilities of the *idea* of humans raised outside of society that he only talks about four children. Even when he is supposedly telling these disenfranchised children's tales, he spends most of his pages on disecting the writers who wrote about them. Seriously, there are entire chapters about Swift and Defoe's family and life--and only a few pages on a "wild boy". Very frustrating! ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
This is quite an informative but somewhat dully written book. Its chronological retelling of different cases, delving back to myths and to Romulus and Remus, made the first half of the book less interesting to me. I guess feral children, almost by definition, have a mysterious past, but when old time stories added their veneer of fantasy to them, they become too far-fetched to involve the reader. So, when Newton examines the case of Hauser, we find a ‘myth of sensitivity’ with Hauser supposedly able to ‘perceive the mysterious mesmerist fluids supposed to emanate around each human being’.

While Newton wants his book to be thorough, I found it reflected its origins in research – an academic study and as such it has a certain dryness and attention to detail that could have been edited out in the sort of book a Bill Bryson might write. I guess my criticism is somewhat unfair – no doubt Newton wrote what he wanted to write but I think the topic of feral children could be made more captivating – to use an inappropriate pun. ( )
  evening | Dec 5, 2013 |
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In the years since the fall of communism, as the social fabric of Russia was rent and fell apart, street kids became a common sight in Moscow or St. Petersburg.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312423357, Paperback)

Wild or feral children have fascinated us down the centuries, and continue to do so today. In a haunting and hugely readable study, Michael Newton deftly investigates a number of infamous cases. He looks at Peter the Wild Boy, who gripped the attention of Swift and Defoe, and at Victor of Aveyron who roamed the forests of revolutionary France. He tells the story of a savage girl lost on the streets of Paris; of two children brought up by wolves in the jungles of India; of a boy brought up among monkeys in Uganda; and in Moscow, of a child found living with a pack of wild dogs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:58 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A collective history of feral children who were brought up in the wilderness, raised by animals, or locked up in solitary confinement examines the stories of Peter the Wild Boy, Victor of Aveyron, and a boy raised by monkeys in Uganda.

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