The Routledge History of Loneliness takes a multidisciplinary approach to the history of a modern emotion, exploring its form and development across cultures from the seventeenth century to the present.

Bringing together thirty scholars from various disciplines, including history, anthropology, philosophy, literature and art history, the volume considers how loneliness was represented in art and literature, conceptualised by philosophers and writers and described by people in their personal narratives. It considers loneliness as a feeling so often defined in contrast to sociability and affective connections, particularly attending to loneliness in relation to the family, household and community. Acknowledging that loneliness is a relatively novel term in English, the book explores its precedents in ideas about solitude, melancholy and nostalgia, as well as how it might be considered in cross-cultural perspectives.

With wide appeal to students and researchers in a variety of subjects, including the history of emotions, social sciences and literature, this volume brings a critical historical perspective to an emotion with contemporary significance.

Chapter [#] of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at https://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons (CC-BY) 4.0 license.

chapter |14 pages

A History of Loneliness

An Introduction

part 1|160 pages

Representing Loneliness

chapter 2|13 pages

Polite Loneliness

The Problem Sociability of Spinsters in the Long Eighteenth Century

chapter 3|13 pages

Gender and Loneliness in Business*

A Milliner and Her Agent in Eighteenth-Century Southern Europe

chapter 4|14 pages

‘My Solitary and Retired Life’

Queen Charlotte's Solitude(s)

chapter 5|13 pages

‘I Feel as if Part of [My] Self was Torn from me’

Entrepreneurship, Absence and Loneliness in Nineteenth-Century England

chapter 6|14 pages

David Hume and the Disease of the Learned

Melancholy, Loneliness and Philosophy

chapter 7|16 pages

Falling In and Out of Place

The Errant Status of Solitude in Early Modern Europe

chapter 8|13 pages

‘Here in My Loneliness, I Suffer’

Illness, Isolation and Loneliness in the Diaries of Kirsti Teräsvuori (1899–1988)

chapter 10|13 pages

In Solitary Pursuit

Loneliness and the Quest for Love in Modern Britain

chapter 11|13 pages

Loneliness as Crisis in Britain after 1950

Temporality, Modernity and the Historical Gaze

part 2|149 pages

Household and Communities

chapter 13|14 pages

‘Disengagement from all Creatures’

Exploring Loneliness in Early Modern English Cloisters

chapter 15|13 pages

Loneliness, Love and the Longing for Health

Mary Graham's Consumption

chapter 18|13 pages

‘As an only Child I Must Have Been Lonely though I was not Aware of it at the Time’

Only Children's Reflections on the Experience of Loneliness in Britain, 1850–1950

chapter 19|15 pages

Lonely in a Crowd

The Transformative Effect of School Culture in Schoolgirl and College Fiction

chapter 20|16 pages

‘A Purer form of Loneliness’

Loneliness and the Search for Community Among Gay and Bisexual Men in Scotland, 1940–1980

chapter 21|13 pages

Loneliness as Social Critique

Disregard and the Limits of Care in Twenty-First-Century Japan

part 3|159 pages

Distance, Place and Displacement

chapter 22|16 pages

Loneliness and Sociability in Maritime and Colonial Space

A Comparative Intersectional Analysis of the Journals of Lt Ralph Clark and Dr Joseph Arnold

chapter 23|16 pages

The Loneliness of Leadership

Royal Naval Officers in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

chapter 24|15 pages

‘Small Uneasinesses and Petty Fears’

Life Cycle, Masculinity and Loneliness 1

chapter 26|17 pages

Navigating ‘Loneliness’ in the Reformed Lunatic Asylum

Britain, 1800–1860

chapter 27|14 pages

‘There Is a Trace of You in the Air of That Room’*

Practices of Coping With Separation From Friends in Late-19th-Century Finland

chapter 28|16 pages

‘One of My Own Kind’

Jessie Currie's Experience of Loneliness in British Central Africa, 1891–1894

chapter 30|19 pages

Voices From Lost Homelands*

Loss, Longing and Loneliness

chapter 31|13 pages

‘We Are Still Alive’

Refugees and Loneliness