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Italy's Eighteenth CenturyGender and Culture in the Age of the Grand Tour$
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Paula Findlen, Wendy Wassyng Roworth, and Catherine M. Sama

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804759045

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804759045.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use (for details see www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 12 December 2018

Strange Births and Surprising Kin

Strange Births and Surprising Kin

The Castrato's Tale

(p.175) Seven Strange Births and Surprising Kin
Italy's Eighteenth Century

Martha Feldman

Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses the castrati: castrated men with powerful high voices who sang in courts and chapels, and on public and commercial stages in Italy. According to Pietro Stella, castration from the seventeenth century onward was regarded as a particular form of celibacy. The chapter describes the practice of castration in Italy, explores the life of the castrati, and describes how they formed kinship networks and how their lives became projects of self-production, self-invention, and self-preservation.

Keywords:   castrati, Italy, castration, Pietro Stella, celibacy

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