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The Castrato and His Wife de Helen Berry
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The Castrato and His Wife (edició 2012)

de Helen Berry (Autor)

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656318,818 (3.37)3
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.… (més)
Membre:SharonMariaBidwell
Títol:The Castrato and His Wife
Autors:Helen Berry (Autor)
Informació:OUP Oxford (2012), Edition: Illustrated, 312 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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The Castrato and His Wife de Helen Berry

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A fascinating factual account of Tenducci and his bride, Dorothea Maunsell, this is not only a great insight to the life of a castrato and those responsible for the mutilation of young boys (unsurprisingly, in part the church), but a peek into the influence of opera on London and the lives of women back in the 1700s. Perhaps most amazing is the rebellious and staunch Dorothea during a time when a modern audience might expect a woman of that age to cower in fear. History may look at her two ways, either conniving or resourceful, the lengths women needed to go to in order to have any control of their lives, being the property of a man, either that of their fathers or husbands. It also throws a light on society of the time, revealing an inclination to live above one’s means even with the threat of debtor’s prison. Well, written and engaging, there are many reasons to read this book. ( )
  SharonMariaBidwell | Apr 16, 2021 |
This book tells the story of Tenducci, an Italian castrato singer who eloped with a young woman, Dorothea Maunsell, whose music teacher he was at the time;she followed him to Scotland when he got a music post there, and eventually to Italy—but then she started annulment proceedings to legitimise her relationship with another man. A large part of the evidence given at the annulment proceedings has survived and the proceedings focused on Tenducci's body: proving he had been castrated and therefore was unable to father children, a key criterion for determining if a marriage had been consummated or not.

This was a fascinating and compelling read. ( )
  queen_ypolita | Feb 15, 2020 |
  TheIdleWoman | Aug 28, 2014 |
Fascinating account of the 18th century castrato singer Giusto Tenducci, who eloped with one of his fans and married her. Later she left him for another man and sought an annulment of the marriage on the grounds that the marriage could not have been consummated since he was incapable of siring a child.

The author brings in a potted history of opera and castrati, as well as a discussion of the changes in attitudes to marriage from it being seen as purely a means of procreation to an institution based on mutual love and companionship. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Mar 7, 2014 |
Barely two stars. I would say this book was a load of bollocks, but it didn't have any. ( )
1 vota Petra.Xs | Apr 2, 2013 |
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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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