Kate's Reviews > Magnificent Corpses: Searching Through Europe for St. Peter's Head, St. Claire's Heart, St. Stephen's Hand, and Other Saintly Relic

Magnificent Corpses by Anneli Rufus
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's review
Oct 12, 07

bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in August, 2007

Like Kamy Wicoff in I Do But I Don't, Anneli Rufus seemed to sense my growing interest in a narrow and obscure field, and before I could begin collecting material for a book she pounced...and published. Magnificent Corpses is a poetic, curious and graphic tour through the strange history of religious relics in Europe.

Rufus, like myself, was raised a Jew but grew up fascinated by the sad faces of the saints and madonnas she saw in religious art. Her travels across the Great White Continent are documented with wonder and puzzlement at the very-nearly (and sometimes entirely) cannibalistic treatment the bodies of the saints, and of those unfortunate enough to be labeled enough.

My only regret is that she got to it first.
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