Let There Be Light: Illuminating Modern Britain

Pressure in the nineteenth century to introduce artificial lighting was as much about enhancing privacy as about reducing crime, according to Chris Otter.

The composite image of the world by night, taken from NASA satellites, is one of the emblematic pictures of the early twenty-first century. Viewed from space, much of Europe, North America, India and East Asia blaze with brilliant light. The United Kingdom is particularly effulgent: London, Birmingham, the north-west, west Yorkshire and the north-east appear as giant luminous globules. Edinburgh and Glasgow have dissolved into a thick, radiant ribbon. Even Cornwall shimmers impressively. Only the Scottish Highlands offer respite from this glare.

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