London and Its Dead
Simon & Schuster UK, Hardcover, 9780743268332, 320pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 2006
Necropolis is a luminous, oddly beguiling account of how London has treated its dead, ranging from Roman burial rites to the horrors of the plague, from the founding of the great Victorian cemeteries to the more recent trends of collective grief and the cult of mourning, such as that surrounding the death of Princess Diana. Leaving no headstone unturned, Catherine Arnold unearths one of the great untold histories of the nation's capitol. Skillfully blending history, architecture, archaeology, and anecdote, she also explores phenomena like bodysnatching, public executions, and the rise of the undertaking trade. Ghoulishly entertaining and full of fascinating nuggets of information, Necropolis is destined to become a classic work on the city.
"Everything you always wanted to know about perishing in London." Kirkus Reviews
"Deeply pleasing . . . . Entertainment of the most garish and exquisite kind. . . . A Baedeker of the dead." The Times
"Stitching archaeological discovery and architectural detail to anecdote and cultural commentary, Necropolis paints London as a city 'drained by death.'" Financial Times
"Enthusiastic, good-humored and constantly engaging." Daily Telegraph