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How to Read a Graveyard: Journeys in the Company of the Dead

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9781441179777: How to Read a Graveyard: Journeys in the Company of the Dead
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Death is the one certainty in life, yet, with the decline of religion in the West, we have become collectively reluctant to talk about it. Our contemporary rituals seek to sanitise death and distance us from our own inevitable fate. If we want to know how previous generations dealt with death, graveyards (famous and not) tell us the history -- if we are able to read them. If we want to know how we struggle today with understanding or facing up to death, then graveyards provide a starting point. And, if we want to escape the present taboo on acknowledging our mortality and contemplate our own end, then graveyards offer a rare welcome. From Neolithic mounds to internet memorials via medieval corpse roads and municipal cemeteries, war graves and holocaust memorials, Roman catacombs, Pharaonic grave-robbers, Hammer horrors, body-snatchers, Days of the Dead, humanist burials and flameless cremations, Stanford shows us how to read a graveyard, what to look out for in our own, and how even the most initially unpromising exploration can enthral.

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The rituals and architecture surrounding graveyards offer a fascinating glimpse into how we view our own mortality --The Telegraph

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A taboo-breaking exploration of what graveyards and memorials to the dead can tell our secular, scientific and sceptical age about our eternal fate.

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9781472909183: How to Read a Graveyard: Journeys in the Company of the Dead

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ISBN 10: 1472909186 ISBN 13: 9781472909183
Publisher: Bloomsbury Continuum, 2014
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Stanford, Peter
Published by Bloomsbury Continuum; 1st edition (May 23, 2013) (2013)
ISBN 10: 1441179771 ISBN 13: 9781441179777
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