The charivari is a loud, late-night surprise house-visiting custom from members of a community, usually to a newlywed couple, accompanied by a quête (a request for a treat or money in exchange for the noisy performance) and/or pranks. Up to the first decades of the twentieth century, charivaris were for the most part enacted to express disapproval of the relationship that was their focus, such as those between individuals of different ages, races, or religions. While later charivaris maintained the same rituals, their meaning changed to a welcoming of the marriage.
Make the Night Hideous explores this mysterious transformation using four detailed case studies from different time periods and locations across English Canada, as well as first-person accounts of more recent charivari participants. Pauline Greenhill's unique and fascinating work explores the malleability of a tradition, its continuing value, and its contestation in a variety of discourses.
About the author
Pauline Greenhill is a professor at the University of Winnipeg.
Other titles by Pauline Greenhill
Clever Maids, Fearless Jacks, and a Cat
Fairy Tales from a Living Oral Tradition
Canadian Crime Films, Culture and Society
Tradition, Gender, Drag
Make the Night Hideous
Four English-Canadian Charivaris, 1881-1940
Tradition and Culture in Canada
Ethnicity in the Mainstream
Three Studies of English Canadian Culture in Ontario
Traditional and Popular Verse in Ontario
Lots of stories
Maritime narratives from the Creighton Collection
So we can remember
Showing family photographs