Peter the Wild Boy

Look for Jonathan-Rogers.com–including Audience Participation Friday–to come off its summer holiday in the next week or so. Meanwhile, I thought you might be interested in this article I ran across in History Today about a feechiefied fellow known as Peter the Wild Boy who, in 1725, was found living wild in a German forest and ultimately brought to the court of King George in London. Not surprisingly, the meal he shared with the sovereign didn’t go so well:

Seated at table with the king, dressed in a suit of clothes with a napkin at his neck, he repelled his host with his complete lack of manners. He refused bread, but gorged himself on vegetables, fruit and rare meat, greedily grasping at the dishes and eating noisily from his hands, until he was ordered to be taken away.

Peter the Wild Boy became an instant celebrity and the subject of a number of philosophical essays. But the fickle public soon lost interest; Peter the Wild Boy never got the hang of living among civilizers, though he lived into his seventies. You can read his sad story at History Today.

Bonus Wild Child reading recommendation: The narrator of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place is a Bronte-esque young governess who finds herself in charge of three children who, having been raised by wolves, are now in the care of a wealthy landowner. It is extremely smart and hilarious.

  • EmmaJ

    Jonathan,
    Thanks for the Incorrigible Children recommendation. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • http://speeceschool.blogspot.com Melinda Speece

    We also have you to thank for our recent reading of The Incorrigibles and the uptick in howling and the more-frequent “awhooooooo” at the end of words. 

    And, on topic, how about this from the weekend Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904106704576580673693340308.html