The work of leading scholar Terry Castle, called by the New York Times "always engaging...consistently fascinating," has helped to revolutionize eighteenth-century studies. The Female Thermometer collects Castle's essays on phantasmagoria in eighteenth-century literature and culture. Taking as her emblem the fanciful "female thermometer," an imaginary instrument invented by eighteenth-century satirists to measure levels of female sexual arousal, Castle explores the ways in which the rationalist imperatives of the age paradoxically worked to produce what Freud called the uncanny and what she calls the "impinging strangeness" of the eighteenth-century imagination.
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Terry Castle is currently Professor of English at Stanford University.Review:
"The Female Thermometer is filled with incisive observations that make us re-examine the broad preconceptions we hold about the 18th century and reassess some of its specific cultural artifacts."--The New York Times
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