Shaping the Day: A History of Timekeeping in England and Wales 1300-1800

Paperback | March 3, 2011

byPaul Glennie, Nigel Thrift

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Timekeeping is an essential activity in the modern world and we take it for granted that our lives our shaped by the hours of the day. Yet what seems so ordinary today is actually the extraordinary outcome of centuries of technical innovation and circulation of ideas about time. Shaping the Day is a pathbreaking study of the practice of timekeeping in England and Wales between 1300 and 1800. Drawing on many unique historical sources, ranging from personal diaries to housekeeping manuals, Paul Glennie and Nigel Thrift illustrate how a particular kind of common sense abouttime came into being, and how it developed during this period. Many remarkable figures make their appearance, ranging from the well-known, such as Edmund Halley, Samuel Pepys, and John Harrison, who solved the problem of longitude, to less familiar characters, including sailors, gamblers, and burglars. Overturning many common perceptions of the past-for example, that clock time and the industrial revolution were intimately related-this unique historical study engages all readers interested in how 'telling the time' has come to dominate our way of life.

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From the Publisher

Timekeeping is an essential activity in the modern world and we take it for granted that our lives our shaped by the hours of the day. Yet what seems so ordinary today is actually the extraordinary outcome of centuries of technical innovation and circulation of ideas about time. Shaping the Day is a pathbreaking study of the practice o...

Dr. Paul Glennie is Senior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Bristol. Professor Nigel Thrift is currently Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick, an Emeritus Professor of the University of Bristol and a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. One of the world's leading human geographers and social scientists, Pr...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:472 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:March 3, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199605122

ISBN - 13:9780199605125

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Measured Heart2. Clocks, Clock-times, and Social Change3. "Not Everyone Occupies the Same Now": Reconceptualising Clock Times4. Clock-times in Medieval and Early Modern Bristol5. Temporal Infrasturcture: The Provision of Clock-Time in England6. Clock-times in Everyday Lives7. Precision in Everyday Lives8. "Posted Within Shot of the Grave": Temporal Practices Among Seafarers9. The Pursuit of Precision10. "Clocks from Nowhere"? John Harrison in Context11. Some Concluding RemarksBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This meaty and informative study fruitfully revises the existing history of timekeeping" --Penelope J. Corfield, American Historical Review