Dr Neil Stanley Independent Sleep Expert
BACK Mary Lamb and Charles Lamb, Mrs Leicester’s School: or, The History of Several Young Ladies Related by Themselves (London, 1809), 141. here One night that I had been terrified in my sleep with my imaginations, I got out of bed and crept softly to the adjoining room. My room was next to where my aunt usually sat when she was alone. Into her room I crept for relief from my fears. The old lady was not yet retired to rest, but was sitting with her eyes half open, half closed; her spectacles tottering upon her nose; her head nodding over her prayer-book ; her lips mumbling the words as she read them, or half read them, in her dozing posture; her grotesque appearance; her old- fashioned dress, resembling what I had seen in that fatal picture in Stackhouse; all this, with the dead time of night, as it seemed to me (for I had gone through my first sleep), joined to produce a wicked fancy in me, that the form which I had beheld was not my aunt, but some witch. Despite what is claimed by Ekirch this passage only mentions ‘first sleep’ and she states she was “terrified in her sleep” rather than being “terrified in my second sleep”. She seems to be using the phrase “for I had gone through my first sleep” as an indicator of time rather than a statement concerning the structure of segmented sleep. It gives no indication of when the events take place though it is interesting that what ever time it was the aunt is not yet “retired to sleep.” BACK
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