The English Way of Death: The Common Funeral Since 1450

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9780709043508: The English Way of Death: The Common Funeral Since 1450
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Dr. Julian Litten, long regarded as England's authority on funeral customs, leads us from the pomp and panoply of the post-medieval funeral to the clinical anonymity of present-day obsequies. Lavishly illustrated in color and monochrome, this study explores the rise of the undertaking trade and the changing etiquette which governed burial--for the rich, embalming, lying-in-state, heraldic parades with richly attired attendants and intermural burial in the family vault and for the poor, by stark contrast, parochial processions through muddy fields and interment in a shroud in the corner of a country churchyard. Unavailable for more than a decade, this reissue will be welcomed by anyone with an interest in social history.

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About the Author:

Dr Julian Litten was on the curatorial staff of the V&A Museum, London, between 1966 and 1999, and is now visiting lecturer in built-heritage conservation at Canterbury Christ Church University College, Kent. Dr Litten is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, a member of the Royal Archaeological Institute's Council, a commissioner of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England since 1985, president of the Church Monuments Society and a trustee of the Mausolea & Monuments Trust.

Review:

'A revelatory history of the rituals and practices that were once a highly visible part of English life. Beautifully written.' Observer 'A social history of undertaking... Vigorous and highly informative.' Times Literary Supplement 'He loves the history of funerals for the same reason that he specializes in ecclesiastical architecture; he is fascinated by the point of contact between human life and eternity... in Mr Litten the subject has found a sober, amused, sympathetic interpreter.' Libby Purves, The Times 'This remarkable book is a mine of information on the funeral trade, on fashions in embalming and shrouds and coffins, and even the design of the burial vault: "the eternal bedchamber".' David Stancliffe, Church Times 'A carefully crafted and superbly illustrated essay on a subject of universal human concern.' British Archaeological News 'We are undoubtedly in the hands of an expert.' Brian Sewell, Evening Standard 'What better guide could one want to the delights of funerary archaeology than a man who has sniffed the air in a hundred burial vaults? Litten provides a compendious guide to the consumerism of death.' Patricia Morison, Financial Times

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780709070979: The English Way of Death: The Common Funeral Since 1450

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0709070977 ISBN 13:  9780709070979
Publisher: Robert Hale, 2007
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9780709047773: The English Way of Death: The Common Funeral Since 1450

Robert..., 1992
Softcover

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Litten, Julian
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