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Posts tagged ‘early modern history’

Exposing the ‘Naked Man’: A 16th-century motif of cultural nudity

by Katy Bond

“Everyone’s way is made known through clothing” said Hans Weigel, author of a 1577 costume book of Nuremberg which illustrated the dress of a variety of nations.[i] In Renaissance Europe, it was expected that one’s countrymen would be identifiable through distinctive modes of dressing.

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A. Roger Ekirch, At Day’s Close: A History of Nighttime (2005)

by Ella Hollowood

The premise of A. Roger Ekirch’s At Day’s Close is a relatively simple one: what was nighttime like in Western society before industrialisation and modern lighting? Yet the result is a rich and fascinating study of ‘the forgotten half of the human experience’ and of a fundamental shift that took place between the late 17th and early 19th centuries in Europe. Drawing from evidence in diaries, correspondence, memoirs, court records, plays and illustrations, Ekirch highlights the stark contrast between our own experience of nighttime and that of our ‘pre-industrial’ ancestors.

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