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This article opens up approaches and themes for a history of loneliness. It advocates handling of the subject by historians, and invites historical analysis of concepts, health issues, strategies from the past, theories of long-term loneliness change, „nuclear family hardship‟ and related demography. Topographies of isolation are raised. It then discusses one aspect of this: considering how living alone often seems to shape modern discussion of loneliness, and analysing the steep rise of sole living in Western societies over the past century.