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Publisher's Summary

Sunday observance in the Christian West was an important religious issue from late Antiquity until at least the early 20th century. In England the subject was debated in Parliament for six centuries. During the reign of Charles I disagreements about Sunday observance were a factor in the Puritan flight from England. In America the Sunday question loomed large in the nation’s newspapers. In the 19th century, it was the lengthiest of our national debates—outlasting those of temperance and slavery. In a more secular age, many writers have been haunted by the afterlife of Sunday. Wallace Stevens speaks of the “peculiar life of Sundays.” For Kris Kristofferson “there’s something in a Sunday, / Makes a body feel alone.”

©2008 Harvard University Press (P)2009 Harvard University Press

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