Corpses, Coffins and Crypts: A History of Burial

by Penny Colman

A disarmingly candid and historically helpful summary of many ways the death is managed... read more

A disarmingly candid and historically helpful summary of many ways the death is managed and understood is best explained by indicating its contents. The chapter headings are: Dead Is Dead (defining death); Death Is Destiny (understanding death); What Happens to Corpses (decomposition, transplants, autopsies, and embalming); Bones and Ashes (cremation and other ways to dispose of corpses); How to Contain the Remains (urns, coffins, crypts, and mausoleums); Where Corpses End Up (cemeteries and other burial sites); Rituals for People Who Have Died (burial customs, ceremonies, and celebrations); and Death Is Everywhere (images in the arts and everyday life). Endnotes include the locations of remains and burial sites of some famous people, a collection of Apoignant, pious, patriotic, historic, and humorous" epitaphs, images of common carvings on gravestones, a chronology, a glossary, a bibliography and an index. Colman effectively intersperses facts with personal experience and interesting other examples without trying to be clever or becoming morbid. (Ages 7-14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1997

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