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Nightwalking : a nocturnal history of London

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Details:

Publication Type
General Interest Book
Author
Matthew Beaumont
ISBN
9781784783785
Date Published
2015
Size
240 x 162 mm
Number of Pages
496pp
Cost
Purchase Info
https://www.versobooks.com/books/2157-nightwalking
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Supplier:

Type
Publisher
Address
6 Meard Street, LONDON, W1F 0EG
Telephone
020 7437 3546
Fax
020 7734 0059
Supplier Info

Verso Books is the largest independent, radical publishing house in the English-speaking world, publishing one hundred books a year.


Review:

Publisher's website 2019

A captivating literary portrait of the writers who explore the city at night, and the people they met

“Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night,” wrote the poet Rupert Brooke. Before the age of electricity, the nighttime city was a very different place to the one we know today – home to the lost, the vagrant and the noctambulant. Matthew Beaumont recounts an alternative history of London by focusing on those of its denizens who surface on the streets when the sun’s down. If nightwalking is a matter of “going astray” in the streets of the metropolis after dark, then nightwalkers represent some of the most suggestive and revealing guides to the neglected and forgotten aspects of the city.

In this brilliant work of literary investigation, Beaumont shines a light on the shadowy perambulations of poets, novelists and thinkers: Chaucer and Shakespeare; William Blake and his ecstatic peregrinations and the feverish ramblings of opium addict Thomas De Quincey; and, among the lamp-lit literary throng, the supreme nightwalker Charles Dickens. We discover how the nocturnal city has inspired some and served as a balm or narcotic to others. In each case, the city is revealed as a place divided between work and pleasure, the affluent and the indigent, where the entitled and the desperate jostle in the streets.

With a foreword and afterword by Will Self, Nightwalking is a captivating literary portrait of the writers who explore the city at night and the people they meet.


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