This unique and cutting edge book looks at the West's fascination with, and misunderstanding of, castrated males. Gary Taylor takes in the sweep of Western thought on 'the operation', focusing on three key periods: the Early Church, one of whose Fathers, Origen, supposedly castrated himself the Early Modern, when castration was actually depicted on stage by Thomas Middleton the twenieth century, where, Taylor argues, Freud got it wrong.
Gary Taylor is Professor of English and Director of the Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama. His books include Cultural Selection: Why Some Achievements Stand the Test of Time and Others Don't and Reinventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History from the Restoration to the Present. He is the general editor of the Oxford Shakespeare.