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What to expect

A fascinating and colourful social history of the nighttime.

‘A wonderful revelation of a vanished age of darkness’ SPECTATOR

‘Fascinating’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘A splendid book … great entertainment’ Sir Patrick Moore

‘A triumph of social history. Almost every page contains something to surprise the reader … one of the most enjoyable literary experiences of the year’ MAIL ON SUNDAY

From blanket fairs to night kings, curfews to crime, At Day’s Close is an intriguing and captivating investigation into the night. Until now, this rich and complex universe in which we spend nearly half of our lives was a world long-lost to historians.

Here, Ekirch explores how the night was lived in the past, through travel accounts, memoirs, letters, folklore, poems, court records and coroner’s reports. More than this, it is a passionate argument in the case for less artificial light in an increasingly bright world.

Critics Review

  • A wonderful revelation of a vanished age of darkness

    SPECTATOR
  • A triumph of social history. Almost every page contains something to surprise the reader … one of the most enjoyable literary experiences of the year

    MAIL ON SUNDAY
  • An enthralling anthropology of the shadow reals of Western Europe from the late Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution … a passionate case against too much artificial light

    HARPER'S MAGAZINE
  • In his fascinating survey of the dark hours of the pre-industrial era, A Roger Ekirch takes us deep into an age when the very lack of light threw life into confusion … an engrossing book that illuminates the darker recesses of the past

    SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
  • Meticulously researched … AT DAY’S CLOSE is a splendid book … great entertainment, and to social historians it will be of immense value

    TIMES HIGHER EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT
  • A comprehensive account of nightlife…bursting with esoteric and well-sourced information about everything from candles and curfews to church bells and chamber pots

    EVENING STANDARD

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