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A. Roger Ekirch

Forfatter af At Day's Close: Night in Times Past

6+ Værker 1,001 Medlemmer 23 Anmeldelser

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An odd book. It’s essentially a collection of quotations on nighttime arranged thematically. Each chapter is arranged into things called paragraphs. Ekirch opens each with some statement or other, sometimes rather inane, before following it with a number of quotations worked into sentences. The quotations might be from anything, famous or obscure and jumping about by continent and time, though mostly from early modern western Europe. This is history with its lights out. There doesn’t seem to be any point to it. There’s no intellectual component. It seems bizarre to me that so much effort was put into it. He travelled internationally to study primary sources and got research grants from respected institutions yet seems to have nothing to say.

This might sound like a one star review, but perhaps some of the problem is that when I read history I have my brain turned on. If I want to read with it off I’ll pick up a thriller. If you read exclusively history and expect it to serve all your moods you might enjoy it as a light read. There’s something gentle and quiet about it. I enjoyed the chapter about naughty things people do at night because I’m a pervert, but many chapters I would tire of after a couple of paragraphs and skip. There’s also a chapter on second sleep, which is what prompted me to read the book in the first place. This starts out a little more seriously, but soon degenerates into the usual performance.

There are also technical problems with the 2022 W&N reprint. On the cover the subtitle and author name are in some hideous sans serif typeface, the kind of thing you see inexperienced self-publishers use. This is over some stock photo but there’s no banner or border so it just looks slapped on. The text on the spine hasn’t been centred properly. The typeface inside is a vile, prissy, fussy little thing, particularly ill-suited to a book of quotations because the quotation marks are set halfway up the high stems. Perhaps this amateurishness should have keyed me in to this not being a real book, but I figured it’s done by Hachette and we can hardly expect them not to farm it out to some intern, can we?
… (mere)
Lukerik | 20 andre anmeldelser | Aug 31, 2023 |
I looked forward to reading this book with some anticipation for if “Wild Nights” by Benjamin Reis was very good then how better this book would be since Reis mentions it extensively. I wasn’t disappointed for this book is eminently readable, and so engaging a limit had to be put on the time spent reading it in bed elsewise I’d be up all night. The special focus of the book is night time from 1500-1750 in Western Europe from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean with four parts:
In the Shadow of Death
Laws of Nature
Benighted Realms
Shadow Worlds
There are voluminous references to what occurs at night and most of it is terrifying. It’s an excellent read if you are interested both in history and sociology.
… (mere)
ShelleyAlberta | 20 andre anmeldelser | Aug 13, 2022 |
how pre industrial Europe regarded and used night
ritaer | 20 andre anmeldelser | Jul 20, 2021 |



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