Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children (Paperback)
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The majority of the world population is born into poverty, a fortunate but shrinking amount arrive in this life middle class at the gates of the working world, and a precious few are born into great wealth. Fewer still however are born into a class utterly economically unidentifiable, raised by dogs or monkeys or wolves or bears, at the whimsy of whatever present species governs their upbringing. This book contains a light and fascinating study of recorded cases in which children have been raised or raised themselves “feral.” Are they better off? Maybe. This book doesn’t necessarily answer that question (let alone ask come to think of it), but it does introduce the reader to a number of instances in which children have been found living wild around the world, the public’s reaction to said children, and their fates post introduction to modernity. In short, Savage Girls and Wild Boys, is invaluable grist for the conversation mill at the next awkward social engagement you’re forced to appear at. How do mom-dogs feed human babies? Lets talk about it.

— From Clark


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.

About the Author

Michael Newton has taught at University College London and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Savage Girls and Wild Boys is his first book. He currently teaches at Princeton University. He divides his time between London and Princeton, New Jersey.

Praise For…

"Newton is a supple, intelligent writer, more an essayist than a scholar."--Laura Miller,

"Extraordinary...[shows] great courage." --Rocky Mountain News (Denver)

"Newton is a consummate storyteller...[a] detailed study." --Publishers Weekly

"This is a richly referenced compilation."--Library Journal

"A collection of six, extraordinary individual histories, beautifully navigated."--The Evening Standard (UK)

"[An] absorbing study...he shows a keen and sensitive understanding."--The Sunday Times (UK)

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312423353
ISBN-10: 0312423357
Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl
Publication Date: September 5th, 2000
Pages: 312
Language: English