shopping cart
nothing in cart
browse by subject
new releases
best sellers
sale books
browse by author
browse by publisher
about us
upcoming events
Oct 18th - Fundamentals of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) [Leading Edge Seminars]
Oct 18th - 8 Week Mindful Self-Compassion Course [Dr. Shari Geller]
Oct 18th - Getting back on track: Practical techniques for supporting children, youth and families experiencing deteriorating mental health [SickKids CCMH Learning Institute]
Oct 19th - Anti-Black Racism in Mental Health Practice: What Clinicians Working with the Black Community Need to Know [OASW Learning Centre]
Oct 19th - Avoiding performative allyship: How to ensure you and your business are accepting, inviting, and safe for the 2SLGBTQIA community [SickKids CCMH Learning Institute]
schools agencies and other institutional orders (click here)
Now open for browsing 12-6 Mon-Sat and 12-5 Sunday for three people at a time. Pickups still from 9 to 6, Monday to Saturday. Free shipping across Canada for orders over $100. Please read our Covid-19 statement here.
Join our mailing list! Click here to sign up.
A History of Celibacy
Elizabeth Abbott
HarperCollins Canada / Softcover / 2000-01-01 / 0006386482
Sex (Self Help) / Toronto-Area Authors
price: $22.95 (may be subject to change)
576 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

From the divine to the double standard, from Vestal Virgins to the new Power Virgins, a fascinating, wide-ranging historical exploration of celibacy and celibates.

Florence Nightingale was one. So was Sir Isaac Newton. A monk vows to be one. A prisoner is forced to become one. History is full of people who were avowed celibates; contemporary society reflects a renewed interest in celibacy. But what caused'and still causes'people to give up sex, the very thing that has driven, fascinated, troubled and delighted most other people?

In this timely and lively look at celibacy from both a historical and contemporary perspective, Elizabeth Abbott (who has experience in both single and double beds) lays to rest the commonly held view that celibacy is a predominantly religious concept, of little concern to the lay people of the world. As she explains, celibacy is a "timeless, worldwide phenomenon" that transcends history, culture and religion. Celibacy is also a multi-layered phenomenon full of telling and surprising insights into our sexual desires and drives.

From the Vestal Virgins of Greek mythology who were entombed alive if they broke their vows, to the practice of celibacy in order to conserve semen, from celibacy as a guarantee for marriage, to involuntary celibacy among prisoners, eunuchs, the unemployed and the clinically depressed, A History of Celibacy offers an absorbing blend of information and explanation. Abbott puts a human face on celibacy, capturing the anguish of the castrated boy destined for an operatic career, the ecstasy of the woman whose celibacy is rewarded by erotic visions of Christ, and the anger of the bachelor doomed by the surplus of males in contemporary China.

A book that unlocks some fascinating secrets on the state of chastity, A History of Celibacy will provoke discussion among men and women everywhere.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Abbott is Dean of Women at Trinity College, University of Toronto, where she also teaches a social science course.An historian with a doctorate in 19th-century history, she has worked for over a decade as a journalist and writer with a special interest in social history and the environment.She was editor-in-chief of Chronicle of Canada, the bestselling illustrated history of Canada and the author of Haiti: The Duvaliers and their Legacy.She is a book reviewer for The Globe and Mail and The Gazette (Montreal).She has written for Harrowsmith, The Next City and Equinox and in 1992 won a National Magazine Award for environmental writing.A History of Celibacy is her most recent book.

Caversham Booksellers
98 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G6 Canada
(click for map and directions)
All prices in $cdn
Copyright 2020

Phone toll-free (800) 361-6120
Tel (416) 944-0962 | Fax (416) 944-0963
E-mail [email protected]
Hours: 9-6 Mon-Sat / 12-5 Sun (EST)

Click here to read previous issues.
other lists
Canadian Authors
HarperCollins Canada
Sex (Self Help)
Toronto-Area Authors