15 black and white art reproductions and illustrations
Includes Notes and Bibliography
In this lively, learned and humorous history of left-handed people, the author draws upon an amazing collection of historical documents, studying the reactions these levorotatories have provoked in western society from the days of antiquity to our present time. Ranging from outright hostility (“Left-handed people can’t do anything right, they are a backward race who lead us to question their very humanity.” was the callous judgment of 17th-century Spanish poet Francisco de Quevedo) to benign tolerance to full-fledged admiration, these individuals have never left people merely indifferent. Among the fascinating revelations included here, we learn about periods of intense persecution, especially in the years prior to WW1, when they were deemed menacing and degenerate, and were subject to the most severe forms of social repression. Yet we also learn that there have been golden ages of tolerance and even adulation of these exceptional beings (Leonardo da Vinci and Hans Holbein are among the creative geniuses in the book’s left-handed pantheon).