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Recreations and Dissipations

Recreations and Dissipations

Chapter:
(p.54) Chapter 4 Recreations and Dissipations
Source:
In the Watches of the Night
Author(s):
Peter C. Baldwin
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226036038.003.0004

This chapter examines the nighttime recreation of urban workers in American cities during the 1800s. It suggests that the way men and women chose to spend their leisure time reveal whether they shared the values by which middle-class people distinguished themselves from the rest of the population. It explains that during this period there was an intricate schedule of evening activity, with moral overtones changing by the hour. This chapter also describes the nighttime recreation in different cities and highlights the fact that respectable entertainments ended early and people who aspired to respectability went home to sleep.

Keywords:   nighttime recreation, leisure time, middle-class people, respectable entertainments

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