Shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2017.
We face many clashing opinions about sleep today. But spare a thought for the hapless person in pre C18 England, harried by thoughts of sloth and religious foot-dragging. Hemmed around by different but still numerous sleep “rules” their view of darkness in these pre-electric-light days is also a fascinating subject. ~ Sue Baker
Like for Like Reading
At Day’s Close: A History of Nighttime, A Roger Ekirch
Wild Nights, How Taming Sleep Created our Restless World, Benjamin Reiss
Wolfson History Prize Judges “A book of sheer originality and novelty… Handley tackles an almost completely neglected subjected with disarming modesty.”
Drawing on diverse archival sources and material artifacts, Handley reveals that the way we sleep is as dependent on culture as it is on biological and environmental factors. After 1660 the accepted notion that sleepers lay at the mercy of natural forces and supernatural agents was challenged by new medical thinking about sleep's relationship to the nervous system. This breakthrough coincided with radical changes shaping everything from sleeping hours to bedchambers. Handley's illuminating work documents a major evolution in our conscious understanding of the unconscious.
'A welcome contribution that fills a gap in the literature... a well-presented and authoritative review of the subject that is laced with fascinating titbits of information embedded in a scholarly monograph.' - John M.T. Ford, British Society of Medical Historians Review
'An admirable addition to the existing corpus.' - Mark Jones, Albion, March 2017
Publication date: 02/08/2016
Publisher: Yale University Press
|Publication date:||2nd August 2016|
|Publisher:||Yale University Press|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, History, The Real World,|
|Categories:||Social & cultural history, Early modern history: c 1450/1500 to c 1700, Sociology: customs & traditions,|
Sasha Handley is senior lecturer in early modern history at the University of Manchester. Her previous book is Visions of an Unseen World: Ghost Beliefs and Ghost Stories in Eighteenth-Century England. She lives in Manchester, UK.More About Sasha Handley