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18 February 1988
Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to the Colonies, 1718-1775 
by Roger Ekirch.
Oxford, 277 pp., £25, November 1987, 0 19 820092 7
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... become servants, who freely chose to come to America in the hope of improving their lives. But, as Roger Ekirch now explains in his splendid new book, a very large number of migrants did not want to leave 18th-century Britain at all. These were the convicts. Historians once thought that no more than thirty thousand felons were transported to the New ...

Devils Everywhere

David Wootton: The Terrors of the Night

9 March 2006
At Day’s Close: A History of Nighttime 
by Roger Ekirch.
Weidenfeld, 447 pp., £20, June 2005, 0 297 82992 0
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Saving the Daylight: Why We Put the Clocks Forward 
by David Prerau.
Granta, 256 pp., £14.99, October 2005, 1 86207 796 7
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... from it. Or at least I had no idea of what it would be like to live in darkness until I read Roger Ekirch’s history of nighttime, which draws on accounts of the dark in early modern Europe. In a recent LRB John Demos pondered the perils of popular history, in which events constantly drive the story onwards, in which interpretations receive short ...

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