26th out of 36 books — 7 voters
Modern Mummies: The Preservation of the Human Body in the Twentieth Century
For many, a mummy is an Egyptian pharaoh, wrapped in cloth, found thousands of years later in a pyramid by archaeologists. But mummies need not be ancient. Modern-day mummies can be found under glass in special tombs built in their honor, in private collections where they have come to rest after decades on the carnival circuit, in dissecting rooms of medical schools, and i...more
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by McFarland & Company
(first published 1998)
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The subtitle is closer to the subject of this book that the slightly misleading title. Quigley's definition of mummies is not limited to fleshly corpses but to any human remains. For instance, I wouldn't consider the victims of the Andes-crash soccer players' cannibalism to be mummies, even though some bodies were frozen in the snow against the day their flesh needed to be consumed. Perhaps the opacity of definition is mine, but the term mummy to me implies a length of post-mortem survival in th...more
Chris Quigley has been reviewing morbid books since receiving an MA in 2007 from Georgetown University, where she has worked since 1986. As of June 2009, she is on long-term disability leave. She delivered the keynote address at the first Museum of Funeral Customs symposium (Springfield, Illinois), consulted with the producers of the National Geographic Channel’s Mummy Road Show, and authored five...moreMore about Christine Quigley...