In a haunting and hugely readable study, Michael Newton investigates the history of feral children across the ages. Among the cases he looks at are Peter the Wild Boy, who gripped the attention of Swift and Defoe; two children brought up by wolves in the jungles of India; and the girl who emerged from thirteen years locked in a Los Angeles room to international celebrity. Savage Girls and Wild Boys examines the lives of these children and of the adults who 'rescued' them or abused them. How can we explain the mixture of disgust and envy they provoke? And what does it say about our notions of education and civilisation?