Necropolis: London and Its Dead

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9781416502487: Necropolis: London and Its Dead

Above, a city thriving with life. Beneath, a city filled with the dead.

London. A vast, labyrinthine, ever-moving place that shimmers as the jewel of Britain. But what about beneath it? What of it's history? It's mishaps? It's dead?

Catharine Arnold invites us on a gloriously macabre tour - across London's many graveyards, cemeteries and burial plots in a quest to discover whether what has departed can teach us anything about what is to come. It's an intriguing, occasionally dark, occasionally humorous journey that reaches right back to the Romans and concludes with the most recent display of mass public mourning: Princess Diana's funeral.

Utilising archaeology, anthropology, anecdote and history, Arnold explores the presence of death in people's lives and the developments and changes in mourning and burial through two millennia. London's greatest disasters, including the Great Fire and the Black Plague, are explored and analysed for their massive impacts on both the population and the change in the disposal of the dead, while the unusual resting places of several thousand Londoners are highlighted and studied, as a means of examining growth and city development. Implicitly entwined with the passing of generations is the transformation of an entire population; where and how people live, where and how they die, and where their children move on to. Arnold marvellously celebrates the possibilities of living in a city as large as London and sensitively demonstrates how much modern citizens owe to their ancestors.

Filled with beautiful details, such as the reason we wear black to funerals (Romans believed the colour made mourners invisible to vengeful spirits), and in an optimistic and respectful voice, Arnold brings us a unique history of one of the world's greatest cities - built atop centuries of history and still rising to this day. If you've ever wondered where the sweet hereafter might be, then look no further - Arnold shows us beautifully how even in a city as massive as London, the dead never really leave us.

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About the Author:

Catharine Arnold read English at Cambridge and holds a further degree in psychology. A journalist, academic and popular historian, she is the author of the Lost Time, winner of a Betty Trask award.

Review:

"Everything you always wanted to know about perishing in London."  —Kirkus Reviews

"Deeply pleasing.  .  .  . Entertainment of the most garish and exquisite kind. . . . A Baedeker of the dead."  —The Times

"Enthusiastic, good-humored and constantly engaging."  —Daily Telegraph

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Catharine Arnold
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ISBN 10: 1416502483 ISBN 13: 9781416502487
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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From Roman burial rites to the horrors of the plague, from the founding of the great Victorian cemeteries to the development of cremation and the current approach of metropolitan society towards death and bereavement -- including more recent trends to displays of collective grief and the cult of mourning, such as that surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales -- NECROPOLIS: LONDON AND ITS DEAD offers a vivid historical narrative of this great city s attitude to going the way of all flesh. As layer upon layer of London soil reveals burials from pre-historic and medieval times, the city is revealed as one giant grave, filled with the remains of previous eras -- pagan, Roman, medieval, Victorian. This fascinating blend of archaeology, architecture and anecdote includes such phenomena as the rise of the undertaking trade and the pageantry of state funerals; public executions and bodysnatching. Ghoulishly entertaining and full of fascinating nuggets of information, Necropolis leaves no headstone unturned in its exploration of our changing attitudes to the deceased among us. Both anecdotal history and cultural commentary, Necropolis will take its place alongside classics of the city such as Peter Ackroyd s LONDON. Bookseller Inventory # AA89781416502487

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Catharine Arnold
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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. From Roman burial rites to the horrors of the plague, from the founding of the great Victorian cemeteries to the development of cremation and the current approach of metropolitan society towards death and bereavement -- including more recent trends to displays of collective grief and the cult of mourning, such as that surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales -- NECROPOLIS: LONDON AND ITS DEAD offers a vivid historical narrative of this great city s attitude to going the way of all flesh. As layer upon layer of London soil reveals burials from pre-historic and medieval times, the city is revealed as one giant grave, filled with the remains of previous eras -- pagan, Roman, medieval, Victorian. This fascinating blend of archaeology, architecture and anecdote includes such phenomena as the rise of the undertaking trade and the pageantry of state funerals; public executions and bodysnatching. Ghoulishly entertaining and full of fascinating nuggets of information, Necropolis leaves no headstone unturned in its exploration of our changing attitudes to the deceased among us. Both anecdotal history and cultural commentary, Necropolis will take its place alongside classics of the city such as Peter Ackroyd s LONDON. Bookseller Inventory # AA89781416502487

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Book Description Simon & Schuster. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Necropolis: London and Its Dead (New edition), Catharine Arnold, From Roman burial rites to the horrors of the plague, from the founding of the great Victorian cemeteries to the development of cremation and the current approach of metropolitan society towards death and bereavement -- including more recent trends to displays of collective grief and the cult of mourning, such as that surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales -- NECROPOLIS: LONDON AND ITS DEAD offers a vivid historical narrative of this great city's attitude to going the way of all flesh. As layer upon layer of London soil reveals burials from pre-historic and medieval times, the city is revealed as one giant grave, filled with the remains of previous eras -- pagan, Roman, medieval, Victorian. This fascinating blend of archaeology, architecture and anecdote includes such phenomena as the rise of the undertaking trade and the pageantry of state funerals; public executions and bodysnatching. Ghoulishly entertaining and full of fascinating nuggets of information, Necropolis leaves no headstone unturned in its exploration of our changing attitudes to the deceased among us. Both anecdotal history and cultural commentary, Necropolis will take its place alongside classics of the city such as Peter Ackroyd's LONDON. Bookseller Inventory # B9781416502487

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