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The Chesapeake Book of the Dead: Tombstones, Epitaphs, Histories, Reflections, and Oddments of the Region
"There is a romantic, nostalgic, pleasantly melancholy feeling to old cemeteries that is hard to define but easy to experience. Perhaps it is because we can feel the direct link to our past that no history book, no movie, no historical fantasy can ever convey. These stones and these unkempt grounds are the hard evidence of lives that came before us. Once, these people live ...more
Hardcover, 152 pages
Published March 8th 1999 by Johns Hopkins University Press
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Jan 24, 2014 Lorraine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in old cemeteries & conservation of same.
Interesting approach to finding & appreciating old cemeteries. I have been fascinated with epitaphs since I was quite young. New England has some of the best & then I went to Boot Hill in Tombstone, Arizona. WOW! " Hanged by mistake" was amazing to see & even more unbelievable to realize that it had taken place & I was standing not too far from where it had taken place. This book 'takes' the reader to various old cemeteries around the Chesapeake area, explains how they are connec ...more
Consider, if you will, the paradox inherent in Helen Chappell's The Chesapeake Book of the Dead. One would think that a book that examines burial customs in the Chesapeake region, that looks at how death and dying have been commemorated in those parts of Maryland and Virginia that are among the oldest areas of European settlement in what is now the United States, would be somehow morbid. And yet Chappell makes clear why the subject matter of this book should matter to all of us:
Once, these peopl ...more
Once, these peopl ...more
This is a very strange book, more a collection of ghost stories than essays about cemeteries. The author was inspired by the legendary Wisconsin Death Trip, but instead of collecting news stories, historical photos, and real-world evidence of how things were, she collects urban legends and tales of hauntings, reproducing some in dialect that mimics oral accounts without actually being quoted. Woven around those stories are her memories of growing up in an abandoned graveyard near her father's fa ...more