Author: Matthew Beaumont
Publisher: Verso Books
“Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night,” wrote the poet Rupert Brooke. Before the age of electricity, the nighttime city was a very different place to the one we know today—home to the lost, the vagrant and the noctambulant. Matthew Beaumont recounts an alternative history of London by focusing on those of its denizens who surface on the streets when the sun’s down. If nightwalking is a matter of “going astray” in the streets of the metropolis after dark, then nightwalkers represent some of the most suggestive and revealing guides to the neglected and forgotten aspects of the city. In this brilliant work of literary investigation, Beaumont shines a light on the shadowy perambulations of poets, novelists and thinkers: Chaucer and Shakespeare; William Blake and his ecstatic peregrinations and the feverish ramblings of opium addict Thomas De Quincey; and, among the lamp-lit literary throng, the supreme nightwalker Charles Dickens. We discover how the nocturnal city has inspired some and served as a balm or narcotic to others. In each case, the city is revealed as a place divided between work and pleasure, the affluent and the indigent, where the entitled and the desperate jostle in the streets. With a foreword and afterword by Will Self, Nightwalking is a captivating literary portrait of the writers who explore the city at night and the people they meet. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Matthew Beaumont
"Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night," wrote the poet Rupert Brooke. Before the age of electricity, the nighttime city was a very different place to the one we know today - home to the lost, the vagrant and the noctambulant. Matthew Beaumont recounts an alternative history of London by focusing on those of its denizens who surface on the streets when the sun's down. If nightwalking is a matter of "going astray" in the streets of the metropolis after dark, then nightwalkers represent some of the most suggestive and revealing guides to the neglected and forgotten aspects of the city. In this brilliant work of literary investigation, Beaumont shines a light on the shadowy perambulations of poets, novelists and thinkers: Chaucer and Shakespeare; William Blake and his ecstatic peregrinations and the feverish ramblings of opium addict Thomas De Quincey; and, among the lamp-lit literary throng, the supreme nightwalker Charles Dickens. We discover how the nocturnal city has inspired some and served as a balm or narcotic to others. In each case, the city is revealed as a place divided between work and pleasure, the affluent and the indigent, where the entitled and the desperate jostle in the streets. With a foreword and afterword by Will Self, Nightwalking is a captivating literary portrait of the writers who explore the city at night and the people they meet.
Author: Matthew Beaumont, Will Self
""Nightwalking is, in both the physical and the moral meanings of the term, deviant. At night, in other words, the idea of wandering cannot be dissociated from the idea of erring - wanderring. This elision or semantic slurring is present in the final lines of John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667), where the poet offers a glimpse, for perpetuity, of Adam and Eve, after their expulsion from Paradise, entering the post-lapsarian world on foot: 'They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow, / Through Eden took their solitary way.' Wandering steps. In a double sense, Adam and Eve are errant: at once itinerant and aberrant. They are condemned to a life of ceaseless, restless sinfulness. ""--
Nights in the Big City
Author: Joachim Schlör
Publisher: Reaktion Books
The lighting of European cities by gas and electricity in the 19th century brought about a new relationship with the night. Researcher Joachim Schlor has sifted through countless police and church archives, city records, and first-hand accounts, and has explored the highways and byways of Paris, Berlin, and London to trace the development of "night life"--bars, clubs, cabarets, and the worlds of criminality and prostitution. 69 illustrations.
Author: Charles Dickens
Publisher: Penguin UK
Charles Dickens describes in Night Walks his time as an insomniac, when he decided to cure himself by walking through London in the small hours, and discovered homelessness, drunkenness and vice on the streets. This collection of essays shows Dickens as one of the greatest visionaries of the city in all its variety and cruelty. GREAT IDEAS. Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves - and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives - and destroyed them. Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.
London's forgotten scandals, secrets and personalities from the twentieth century, told by the writer of the popular blog Another Nickel in the Machine.
Author: Matthew Beaumont, Gregory Dart
Leading intellectuals reimagine the city as a site of ceaseless change and motion.
Author: Nick Dunn
Publisher: John Hunt Publishing
Dark Matters explores the city at night as a place and time within which escape from the confines of the daytime is possible. More specifically, it is a state of being. There is a long history of nightwalking, often integral to shady worlds of miscreants, shift workers and transgressors. Yet the night offers much to be enjoyed beyond vice. Night by definition contrasts day, summoning notions of darkness and fear. But another night exists out there. Liberation and exhilaration in the urban landscape is increasingly rare when so much of our attention and actions are controlled. Rather than consider darkness as negative, opposed to illumination and enlightenment, this book explores the rich potential of the dark for our senses. The question may no longer be about what spaces we wish to engage with but when we do?
Author: Matthew Beaumont
Uncovers the preconditions for the explosive revival of utopian literature
The End of Night
Author: Paul Bogard
Publisher: Little, Brown
The "terrific ... moving, poetic, immersive, multifaceted, and thought-provoking" book (Publishers Weekly) that will open your eyes to the night. A brilliantly starry night is one of nature's most thrilling wonders. Yet in our world of nights as bright as day, most of us no longer experience true darkness. Eight out of ten Americans born today won't ever live where they can see the Milky Way. And exposure to artificial light at night has been cited as a factor in health concerns ranging from poor sleep to cancer. In his gorgeous debut, THE END OF NIGHT, Paul Bogard travels the globe to find the night, blending personal narrative, natural history, health, science, and folklore to shed light on darkness. Showing exactly what we've lost, what we have left, and what we might hope to regain, he attempts nothing less than a restoration of how we see the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky.
Passions and Tempers
Author: Noga Arikha
Publisher: Noga Arikha
Traces the 2,500-year evolution of humour-based science, explaining the scientific bases of humour medical practices while discussing how beliefs in the relationship between health and humour balances survived throughout extended periods.
Pioneering study of the importance of dress to the collective and individual identities of the nineteenth-century English poor.
Dirty Old London
Author: Lee Jackson
Publisher: Yale University Press
In Victorian London, filth was everywhere: horse traffic filled the streets with dung, household rubbish went uncollected, cesspools brimmed with "night soil," graveyards teemed with rotting corpses, the air itself was choked with smoke. In this intimately visceral book, Lee Jackson guides us through the underbelly of the Victorian metropolis, introducing us to the men and women who struggled to stem a rising tide of pollution and dirt, and the forces that opposed them. Through thematic chapters, Jackson describes how Victorian reformers met with both triumph and disaster. Full of individual stories and overlooked details--from the dustmen who grew rich from recycling, to the peculiar history of the public toilet--this riveting book gives us a fresh insight into the minutiae of daily life and the wider challenges posed by the unprecedented growth of the Victorian capital.
Shakespeare in London
Author: Hannah Crawforth, Sarah Dustagheer, Jennifer Young
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Shakespeare in London offers a lively and engaging new reading of some of Shakespeare's major work, informed by close attention to the language of his drama. The focus of the book is on Shakespeare's London, how it influenced his drama and how he represents it on stage. Taking readers on an imaginative journey through the city, the book moves both chronologically, from beginning to end of Shakespeare's dramatic career, and also geographically, traversing London from west to east. Each chapter focuses on one play and one key location, drawing out the thematic connections between that place and the drama it underwrites. Plays discussed in detail include Hamlet, Richard II, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, King Lear and Romeo and Juliet. Close textual readings accompany the wealth of contextual material, providing a fresh and exciting way into Shakespeare's work.
Spectacle of Deformity
Author: Nadja Durbach
Publisher: Univ of California Press
In 1847, during the great age of the freak show, the British periodical Punch bemoaned the public's "prevailing taste for deformity." This vividly detailed work argues that far from being purely exploitative, displays of anomalous bodies served a deeper social purpose as they generated popular and scientific debates over the meanings attached to bodily difference. Nadja Durbach examines freaks both well-known and obscure including the Elephant Man; "Lalloo, the Double-Bodied Hindoo Boy," a set of conjoined twins advertised as half male, half female; Krao, a seven-year-old hairy Laotian girl who was marketed as Darwin's "missing link"; the "Last of the Mysterious Aztecs" and African "Cannibal Kings," who were often merely Irishmen in blackface. Upending our tendency to read late twentieth-century conceptions of disability onto the bodies of freak show performers, Durbach shows that these spectacles helped to articulate the cultural meanings invested in otherness--and thus clarified what it meant to be British—at a key moment in the making of modern and imperial ideologies and identities.