12th out of 154 books — 56 voters
The Victorian Celebration of Death
In this beautifully illustrated and well-researched book Professor Curl has rescued much fascinating material from undeserved oblivion, and his work fills a genuine gap. From humble working-class exequies to the massive outpouringof grief at the State funerals of Wellington and Queen Victoria herself, The Victorian Celebration of Death covers an immense canvas. It describe...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Sutton Publishing
(first published March 1st 1972)
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I can see why James Curl is The Cemetery Guy: he seems to know the ins and outs of every law, reform crusade, and aesthetic movement that contributed to the establishment of modern cemeteries. Unfortunately, this leads his book to be drier than the occupants of said cemeteries. Also Curl, disappointingly, barely covers other aspects of Victorian mourning, cramming information about waking, clothing, mourning customs, hair jewelry, the crepe trade, etc. into a few chapters on the end which mainly...more
Jul 30, 2012 Jillian rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
I end up reading strange things while killing time at the library (pardon the pun). The information about funereal traditions and Victorian culture were quite interesting, though I ended up skimming the drier sections on land sales, business, and architecture. Curl is very passionate about his subject though, and I have no doubt the "lavishly illustrated" second edition is even better than the one I read.
Born in Ireland, where he received his early education, Professor Emeritus James Stevens Curl has held Chairs in Architectural History at two British Universities. Having graduated in Architecture at Oxford, he went on to study Town Planning, and wrote his Dissertation under the direction of the German architect, Arthur Korn. He later read for his Doctorate at University College London, and has tw...moreMore about James Stevens Curl...