Elizabeth's Blog

Critical Acclaim for A History of Celibacy

 

SELECTED AS ONE OF GLOBE AND MAIL’S BEST BOOKS OF 1999

 

“In her illuminating and erudite book, Elizabeth Abbott illustrates with insight, wit and wisdom that there is a whole lot more to celibacy than that. ... entertaining, fascinating and frequently disturbing. The definitive study on the subject.”

 

 MONTREAL GAZETTE

 

“Her book is based on a great deal of knowledge but is told with grace, wit and a wry sense of the conditions which women live singly as well as with other women and men.”

 

GLOBE AND MAIL

 

“An erudite, comprehensive history....”

 

NATIONAL POST

 

“A challenging, delightful survey of men and women who give up - or are forced to give up - sex. Magically Abbott makes the subject almost sexy.”

 

 VANCOUVER SUN

 

“I thoroughly enjoyed A History of Celibacy....”

 

THE BOSTON BOOK REVIEW

 

“Vastly informative, often moving, continually though provoking.”

 

NOW MAGAZINE

 

“And you thought celibacy could only be dull, unimpassioned stuff. ... A stimulating book.”

 

MCGILL NEWS

 

“A juicy, brilliantly insightful survey - as readable as it is intellectually sophisticated, alternately witty and moving.”

 

VILLAGE VOICE LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

 

“Elizabeth Abbott mixes anthropology with history in her confection of insights ... The pages of Abbott's lucid, exciting book throb with both life and its denial. ... It is a strength of her moving and dazzling achievement that Abbott is never conventional, preachy or platitudinous. Like all good history, her book is a signpost to the strangeness of a world that has such deviance in it.”

 

THE GUARDIAN

 

“A tart romp through history....”

 

 BOSTON GLOBE

 

“Fascinating ... thoughtful and compellingly written”

 

 THE PLAIN DEALER

 

“Ambitious ... Her research is detailed and thorough. She is gifted at relating not just the triumphs and tragedies of those who lived centuries ago but also in giving a sense of their daily lives. She makes us ... hungry to know more about them.”

 

 THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

 

“A fresh take on the history of sex ... this juicy tome was a surprise best-seller in Canada....”

 

 ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

 

“A good, titillating story about the weirdness of our cultural responses to human sexuality.”

 

 WASHINGTON CITY PAPER

 

“Celibacy seems an odd topic for a witty and compelling book, but ... Elizabeth Abbott manages to make her subject fascinating.”

 

 BOOK PAGE

 

“Ambitious and wide-ranging ... A tongue-in-cheek working title for the book was "The Kama Sutra of Celibacy": there are more ways of not having sex than you could dream of.”

 

 THE NEW YORKER

 

“This is an interesting and unusual book .... exceptionally readable....”

 

SEXUAL AND RELATIONSHIP THERAPY (UK)

 

“Manag[es] to be both academic and entertaining....”

 

 EVENING STANDARD

A History of Celibacy

 

In this timely and lively look at celibacy from both a historical and contemporary perspective, Elizabeth Abbott explores the "timeless, worldwide phenomenon" that transcends history, culture and religion. A History of Celibacy is full of telling and surprising insights into our sexual desires and drives and will provoke discussion among men and women everywhere.

 

 

 

"Vastly informative, often moving, continually though provoking."

 

- NOW MAGAZINE

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