At Day's Close

Night in Times Past

By A. Roger Ekirch
(W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393329018, 480pp.)

Publication Date: October 2006

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Description
Bringing light to the shadows of history through a "rich weave of citation and archival evidence" (Publishers Weekly), scholar A. Roger Ekirch illuminates the aspects of life most often overlooked by other historians those that unfold at night. In this "triumph of social history" (Mail on Sunday), Ekirch's "enthralling anthropology" (Harper's) exposes the nightlife that spawned a distinct culture and a refuge from daily life. Fear of crime, of fire, and of the supernatural; the importance of moonlight; the increased incidence of sickness and death at night; evening gatherings to spin wool and stories; masqued balls; inns, taverns, and brothels; the strategies of thieves, assassins, and conspirators; the protective uses of incantations, meditations, and prayers; the nature of our predecessors' sleep and dreams Ekirch reveals all these and more in his "monumental study" (The Nation) of sociocultural history, "maintaining throughout an infectious sense of wonder" (Booklist)."
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