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All the lonely people, where do they all come from?

Sorrow and alienation have been around for centuries

By Chris Moss   November 2019
Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Loneliness is a slippery concept. If it’s simply an emotion we experience, it’s often hidden. If it’s an “epidemic,” as claimed in a 2010 headline in the Lancet, then it is a societal problem with which successive governments have failed to grapple.

Historian Fay Bound Alberti, co-founder of the Queen Mary Centre for the History of Emotion, acknowledges these difficulties, even if they potentially subvert her book’s all-encompassing title. For how can you tell the life story of something that is as much about perception as…

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