Publication
Title
The remains of the night: nocturnalization, street lighting, and urban life in eighteenth-century Antwerp
Author
Abstract
Several theories claim that the rhythms of daily life changed dramatically in the late eighteenth century, as a result of the advent of street lighting. New technologies made it possible to work longer hours, enjoy a dash of leisure time, or otherwise stay active during the evening. People thus slowly but surely ‘colonized’ the night. Drawing on new empirical data from the eyewitness accounts of the local criminal court in Ant-werp, this article subjects this theory to a thorough investigation. The findings show that there was no real increase in nocturnalization because Antwerpers – even without new street lamps – remained active for a long time anyway. They usually continued working long after sunset or had time for leisure. Sleep was limited to the biological minimum. A deviant rhythm in which people remained active until the wee hours of the morning and only got up well after sunrise was reserved for a small group of peo-ple who belonged either to the absolute cream of the crop or to the fringes of society.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Early modern Low Countries / Werkgroep Zeventiende Eeuw; Werkgroep Achttiende Eeuw. - Utrecht, 2017, currens
Publication
Utrecht : Stichting Early Modern Low Countries , 2023
ISSN
2543-1587
DOI
10.51750/EMLC.18372
Volume/pages
7 :2 (2023) , p. 239-259
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Record
Identifier
Creation 16.01.2024
Last edited 20.01.2024
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