Helen Berry The Castrato and His Wife

ISBN 13: 9780199569816

The Castrato and His Wife

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9780199569816: The Castrato and His Wife
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The opera singer Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci was one of the most famous celebrities of the eighteenth century. Mozart and Bach both composed for him. He was nothing less than a rock star of his day, with a massive female following. He was also a castrato.

Ranging from the salons of princes and the grand opera houses of Europe to the remote hill towns of Tuscany, Helen Berry's compelling account of the unconventional love story of the castrato and his wife offers fascinating insight into the world of opera and the history of sex and marriage in Georgian Britain. Berry vividly describes how women flocked to Tenducci's concerts and found him irresistible. Indeed, his young singing pupil, Dorothea Maunsell, found him so irresistible that she eloped with him. A huge scandal erupted and her father persecuted them mercilessly.

Dorothea joined her husband at his concerts, achieving a status she could never have dreamed of as a respectable girl. She also wrote a sensational account of their love affair, an early example of a teenage novel. Embroiled in debt, the Tenduccis fled to Italy, and the marriage collapsed when she fell in love with another man. There followed a highly publicized and unique marriage annulment case in the London courts. Everything hinged on the status of the marriage, whether the husband was capable of consummation, and what exactly had happened to him as a small boy in a remote Italian hill village decades before.

Telling the remarkable story of Tenducci for the first time, The Castrato and His Wife is both an exhilarating read and a perceptive commentary on the meaning of marriage, one that still resonates today.

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About the Author:


Helen Berry is Reader in Early Modern History at Newcastle University. She is the author of numerous articles on the history of eighteenth-century Britain, and is the co-editor (with Elizabeth Foyster) of The Family in Early Modern England (2007). This is her second book.

Review:


"By using classical opera and the life and loves of a prominent castrato as a lens, Berry explores the themes of romance, sex and marriage, and, more broadly, 18th-century European social life and customs. Recommended for readers who enjoy opera, classical music in general, and European history." -- Library Journal


"Writing clearly, judiciously, and sympathetically about all the dramatis personae, especially the heroic but improvident Tenducci, who retained his professional stature throughout, historian of the family Berry rescues an eighteenth-century scandal from oblivion. Utterly enthralling." -- Booklist


"A fascinating glimpse of what was 'shrouded in secrecy due to the illegal nature of the procedure.'" -- ForeWord Reviews


"Berry addresses a topic we still find mysterious, and Tenducci's distinctive situation is surprisingly relevant to the ongoing question of what constitutes legal marriageEL An intriguing story of a castrato's unprecedented marriage and its implications for society at large." --Shelf Awareness


"The Castrato and his Wife is a fascinating account of how masculinity, femininity and marriage were being reshaped in 18th-century Europe just when modernity was taking shape." --Washington Post


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9780199655267: The Castrato and His Wife

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Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2013
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Book Description OUP Oxford. Condition: New. The tale of Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci, 18th century castrato, celebrity, and heart-throb, and his elopement and love affair with his teenage pupil Doroethea Maunsell, a story that opens up a new history of attitudes towards sex and celebrity in Georgian Britain, and explores questions about the meaning of marriage that resonate in our own time. Num Pages: 336 pages, 8pp black and white plates. BIC Classification: 3JF; AVH; BGF; HBLL; HBTB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 222 x 153 x 33. Weight in Grams: 526. . 2011. 1st Edition. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # 9780199569816

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Book Description OUP Oxford, 2011. Condition: New. The tale of Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci, 18th century castrato, celebrity, and heart-throb, and his elopement and love affair with his teenage pupil Doroethea Maunsell, a story that opens up a new history of attitudes towards sex and celebrity in Georgian Britain, and explores questions about the meaning of marriage that resonate in our own time. Num Pages: 336 pages, 8pp black and white plates. BIC Classification: 3JF; AVH; BGF; HBLL; HBTB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 222 x 153 x 33. Weight in Grams: 526. . 2011. 1st Edition. Hardcover. . . . . . Seller Inventory # 9780199569816

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The opera singer Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci was one of the most famous celebrities of the eighteenth century. In collaboration with the English composer Thomas Arne, he popularized Italian opera, translating it for English audiences and making it accessible with his own compositions which he performed in London s pleasure gardens. Mozart and J. C. Bach both composed for him. He was a rock star of his day, with a massive female following. He was also a castrato. Women flocked to his concerts and found him irresistible. His singing pupil, Dorothea Maunsell, a teenage girl from a genteel Irish family, eloped with him. There was a huge scandal; her father persecuted them mercilessly. Tenducci s wife joined him at his concerts, achieving a status as a performer she could never have dreamed of as a respectable girl. She also wrote a sensational account of their love affair, an early example of a teenage novel. Embroiled in debt, the Tenduccis fled to Italy, and the marriage collapsed when she fell in love with another man. There followed a highly publicized and unique marriage annulment case in the London courts. Everything hinged on the status of the marriage; whether the husband was capable of consummation, and what exactly had happened to him as a small boy in a remote Italian hill village decades before. Ranging from the salons of princes and the grand opera houses of Europe to the remote hill towns of Tuscany, the unconventional love story of the castrato and his wife affords a fascinating insight into the world of opera and the history of sex and marriage in Georgian Britain, while also exploring questions about the meaning of marriage that continue to resonate in our own time. Seller Inventory # AOP9780199569816

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The opera singer Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci was one of the most famous celebrities of the eighteenth century. In collaboration with the English composer Thomas Arne, he popularized Italian opera, translating it for English audiences and making it accessible with his own compositions which he performed in London s pleasure gardens. Mozart and J. C. Bach both composed for him. He was a rock star of his day, with a massive female following. He was also a castrato. Women flocked to his concerts and found him irresistible. His singing pupil, Dorothea Maunsell, a teenage girl from a genteel Irish family, eloped with him. There was a huge scandal; her father persecuted them mercilessly. Tenducci s wife joined him at his concerts, achieving a status as a performer she could never have dreamed of as a respectable girl. She also wrote a sensational account of their love affair, an early example of a teenage novel. Embroiled in debt, the Tenduccis fled to Italy, and the marriage collapsed when she fell in love with another man. There followed a highly publicized and unique marriage annulment case in the London courts. Everything hinged on the status of the marriage; whether the husband was capable of consummation, and what exactly had happened to him as a small boy in a remote Italian hill village decades before. Ranging from the salons of princes and the grand opera houses of Europe to the remote hill towns of Tuscany, the unconventional love story of the castrato and his wife affords a fascinating insight into the world of opera and the history of sex and marriage in Georgian Britain, while also exploring questions about the meaning of marriage that continue to resonate in our own time. Seller Inventory # AOP9780199569816

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardback. Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Castrato and His Wife, Helen Berry, The opera singer Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci was one of the most famous celebrities of the eighteenth century. In collaboration with the English composer Thomas Arne, he popularized Italian opera, translating it for English audiences and making it accessible with his own compositions which he performed in London's pleasure gardens. Mozart and J. C. Bach both composed for him. He was a rock star of his day, with a massive female following. He was also a castrato. Women flocked to his concerts and found him irresistible. His singing pupil, Dorothea Maunsell, a teenage girl from a genteel Irish family, eloped with him. There was a huge scandal; her father persecuted them mercilessly. Tenducci's wife joined him at his concerts, achieving a status as a performer she could never have dreamed of as a respectable girl. She also wrote a sensational account of their love affair, an early example of a teenage novel. Embroiled in debt, the Tenduccis fled to Italy, and the marriage collapsed when she fell in love with another man. There followed a highly publicized and unique marriage annulment case in the London courts. Everything hinged on the status of the marriage; whether the husband was capable of consummation, and what exactly had happened to him as a small boy in a remote Italian hill village decades before. Ranging from the salons of princes and the grand opera houses of Europe to the remote hill towns of Tuscany, the unconventional love story of the castrato and his wife affords a fascinating insight into the world of opera and the history of sex and marriage in Georgian Britain, while also exploring questions about the meaning of marriage that continue to resonate in our own time. Seller Inventory # B9780199569816

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