Evening's Empire: A History of the Night in Early Modern Europe

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 30, 2011 - History - 431 pages
What does it mean to write a history of the night? Evening's Empire is a fascinating study of the myriad ways in which early modern people understood, experienced, and transformed the night. Using diaries, letters, and legal records together with representations of the night in early modern religion, literature and art, Craig Koslofsky opens up an entirely new perspective on early modern Europe. He shows how princes, courtiers, burghers and common people 'nocturnalized' political expression, the public sphere and the use of daily time. Fear of the night was now mingled with improved opportunities for labour and leisure: the modern night was beginning to assume its characteristic shape. Evening's Empire takes the evocative history of the night into early modern politics, culture and society, revealing its importance to key themes from witchcraft, piety, and gender to colonization, race, and the Enlightenment.
 

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Contents

Chapter One An early modern revolution
1
Chapter Two Darkness and the Devil 14501650
19
Chapter Three Seeking the Lord in the night 15301650
46
Chapter Four Princes of darkness the night at court 16001750
91
Chapter Five An entirely new contrivance the rise of street lighting 16601700
128
Chapter Six Colonizing the urban night resistance gender and the public sphere
157
Chapter Seven Colonizing the rural night?
198
Chapter Eight Darkness and Enlightenment
236
Chapter Nine Conclusion
276
Notes
283
Bibliography
372
Index
424
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About the author (2011)

Craig Koslofsky is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His previous publications include The Reformation of the Dead: Death and Ritual in Early Modern Germany (2001).

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