Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Urne Burial” as Want to Read:
Urne Burial
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Urne Burial

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  112 ratings  ·  14 reviews
1658. Urn burial, or a discourse of the Sepulchral urns lately found in Norfolk. Together with The Garden of Cyrus, or the Quincuncial, Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the ancients, artificially, naturally, mystically considered. These works are written in Old English text, and due to the age of the originals we reproduced, some pages may be found to be spotty or faded.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 25th 2005 by Penguin Books (first published 1658)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Urne Burial, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Urne Burial

Finnegans Wake by James JoyceUlysses by James JoyceGravity's Rainbow by Thomas PynchonPhenomenology of Spirit by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich HegelCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
REALLY, REALLY DIFFICULT BOOKS
170th out of 184 books — 186 voters
Why I Write by George OrwellUtopia by Thomas MoreBooks v. Cigarettes by George OrwellA Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary WollstonecraftA Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
Penguin Great Ideas
88th out of 102 books — 31 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 325)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jonathan
Best free online version to be found, printed and read here:

http://www.luminarium.org/renascence-...

Of course, one could also simply purchase his complete works...hint hint...

He is, as Mr Gass has pointed out, one of the true high points of English prose. And, on top of that, this text itself is fascinating and, in many ways, deeply moving in its analysis.

He shows us what this rude, crude and battered language was once capable of.

And, simply to share and wallow in beauty, there is this:



Obli
...more
Warwick
This was the book that got me hooked on Sir Thomas Browne. I bought it at random in 2007 in Bluewater, and sat in the food court waiting for my girlfriend to finish shopping, and I vividly remember how stunned with pleasure I was from reading the following sentence:

Some being of the opinion of Thales, that water was the originall of all things, thought it most equall to submit unto the principle of putrefaction, and conclude in a moist relentment.


I repeated it excitedly to Hannah and her friend
...more
Justin Evans
This little book does double duty: first, it gives me a pocket-sized bit of Browne to carry around should I ever need to ponder death, fame, legacy and salvation. Of this I have little to say, except that it's just as good as people say stylistically, and a bit better than they say in content (i.e., this is not teenage nihilism), unless you're the kind of person who assumes that if a good writer disagrees with you, s/he is obviously being ironic.

Second, it gave me a tiny bit of Sebald at the st
...more
Jim
I am still stunned after having read this magnificent essay. It begins slowly as a scholarly discussion of funeral customs of the ancients and, in its culminating chapter, is as profound as Ecclesiastes in denouncing the vanity of wanting to leave behind towering monuments to our former selves. Never in all my days of reading have I seen such deep scholarship wedded to such humility and an overwhelming sense of goodness:
Pious spirits who passed their days in raptures of futurity, made little mor
...more
Douglas Dalrymple
I wonder why we modernize Shakespeare’s spelling, and Marlowe’s and Ben Jonson’s, and the King James Bible’s spelling too, but always leave Thomas Browne’s intact? Reading Browne as-is, we hold him at a distance from ourselves: he’s like us in his concerns and interests, maybe, but we want the reminder of his antiquity.

In Urne-Buriall, Browne has a 100-page-long Yorick-I-knew-thee moment inspired by the recovery of old burial urns, possibly Roman era, dug up in a field. After a catalog of ancie
...more
Gwern
I first heard of Browne in Borges - as so often - in the ending of "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" where the narrator is attempting to translate it into Spanish. Borges is always interested in translation (see for example his fantastic essay on translating the 1001 Nights) and I made a note to look up this work which presented such challenges for rendering into Spanish. (The actual edition I used was James Eason's online edition.)

Urn Burial is hugely archaic, but also amazing. I am not sure where I
...more
Northpapers
I borrowed a copy of this from a friend who got a year's subscription to New Directions Pearls. He loaned it to me because he received a few others that looked more exciting to him. I hadn't heard of Sir Thomas Browne before, so I had no way of knowing how rich, rewarding, and unprecedented this essay would be.

Browne uses the discovery of several urns in a field to muse about the entire history of human burial rites before moving to deep and profound observations about human vanity and mortality
...more
Ana Rînceanu
So death/burial is the topic at hand in this essay but the writing is so good and infused with historical facts that it makes for an interesting read. Thomas Browne presents an analysis on how this habit of burning ones dead based on the customs of various European nations. But he uses this kind of prose:

To be ignorant of evils to come, and forgetful of evils past, is a merciful provision in nature, whereby we digest the mixture of our few and evil days, and, our delivered senses not relapsing i
...more
Shane
Definitely some of the best prose in the English language. The first four chapters, which reflect on recently discovered burial urns and the funerary customs of the ancients, are really nice, but the fifth chapter is absolutely sublime. I disagree with Browne's opinion that ancient ways of wishing to be remembered in history are "pagan vain-glories," but the language is too artful to even care about his philosophical positions. He did not write this to be a philosophical work, but rather as a ba ...more
Michael Spring
Supremely ironic with the WG Sebald extract to front it. (No one knows where their bones will lie, and then Browne's skull is dug up, put in a museum, lost and found...). A melancholy reflection from one of the first dilettante archeologists about death and ritual, in the end a profound investigation into the human condition and mortality.
Bess Lovejoy
It's a struggle, but worth reading for some beautiful lines. One classic: "But who knows the fate of his bones, or how often he is to be buried? Who hath the Oracle of his ashes, or whether they are to be scattered?"
Natalie Raymond
An interesting read, certainly for anyone also reading Sebald. Though, the non-modern spellings slowed me down quite a bit. We modernise Shakespeare, why not Browne as well?
Brian
"What Song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzling Questions are not beyond all conjecture."
Clark
Weird. Why did I read this?
Fazi Ramjhun
Fazi Ramjhun marked it as to-read
Dec 18, 2014
Ellana Thornton-Wheybrew
Ellana Thornton-Wheybrew marked it as to-read
Dec 09, 2014
Janna Kaixer
Janna Kaixer marked it as to-read
Nov 28, 2014
Alejandro Calle
Alejandro Calle marked it as to-read
Nov 27, 2014
Imad Dahmani
Imad Dahmani marked it as to-read
Nov 13, 2014
Kyle Pullen
Kyle Pullen marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
Karrie Higgins
Karrie Higgins marked it as to-read
Nov 05, 2014
i!
i! marked it as to-read
Nov 03, 2014
Mark Critchley
Mark Critchley marked it as to-read
Nov 01, 2014
Jen
Jen marked it as to-read
Oct 24, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Travels in the Land of Kubilai Khan (Penguin Great Ideas)
  • Of Man
  • Miracles and Idolatry
  • The First Ten Books (Penguin Great Ideas)
  • Of Empire
  • The Inner Life
  • Milton's Comus
  • Conspicuous Consumption
  • Eichmann and the Holocaust
  • On Suicide
  • The Perpetual Race of Achilles & the Tortoise
  • Human Happiness
  • Useful Work versus Useless Toil
  • The Anatomy of Melancholy
  • The Christians and the Fall of Rome (Great Ideas)
  • On Friendship
  • On Art and Life
  • Man Alone with Himself
53520
After graduating M.A. from Broadgates Hall, Oxford (1629), he studied medicine privately and worked as an assistant to an Oxford doctor. He then attended the Universities of Montpellier and Padua, and in 1633 he was graduated M.D. at Leiden. Browne's medical education in Europe also earned him incorporation as M.D. from Oxford, and in 1637 he moved to Norwich, where he lived and practiced medicine ...more
More about Thomas Browne...
The Major Works (Penguin Classics) Religio Medici Religio Medici & Urne-Buriall Sir Thomas Browne's Hydriotaphia and the Garden of Cyrus The Prose of Sir Thomas Browne

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »