What was night in the eighteenth century? The most general answer, according to the essayists represented in this collection, is ""activity,"" although ""energy"" or ""purpose"" might be closer to the mark. ""Night"" is here depicted as a perfect topic for the period under consideration: the ""busy night"" - the populous night - is preeminently an eighteenth-century phenomenon. The Age of Enlightenment saw, literally, the publicizing and popularizing of night and thus its availability for numerous representational purposes.""The Enlightenment by Night"" broadly explores the corporate sense of long-eighteenth-century busy-ness, in discussions on topics ranging from the effect of factories and new lighting sources on nighttime productivity to the celebratory use of fireworks, from the darkness that registered as threat in the work of William Blake to the playful confounding of day and night, light and dark in Henry Fielding's Tom Jones. Trawling through notions of heaven and hell, the literal facts of meteors and coal mines, and spiritual experiences of blindness and elucidation, ""The Enlightenment by Night"" will be recognized as a uniquely interdisciplinary study by literary scholars and cultural historians alike.
Publisher: AMS Press
Number of pages: 499
Weight: 857 g
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