Necropolis by Catharine Arnold
London and Its Dead

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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.

About Catharine Arnold

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Catharine Arnold read English at Cambridge and holds a further degree in psychology. A journalist, academic and popular historian, she is the author of the Lost Time, winner of a Betty Trask award.
Published January 1, 2006 by Pocket Books. 320 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction

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As the 20th century came to an end, Arnold supposes, “the stiff upper lip gave way to the bleeding heart.” The author offers brief biographies of a few notable graveyard residents and notes the last rites of rich and famous Britons from Elizabeth I to Princess Diana.

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The Guardian

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Necropolis: London and its Dead by Catharine Arnold 304pp, Simon & Schuster, £14.99 Christopher Wren's rebuilding of St Paul's uncovered chalk-lined Saxon graves.

Aug 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Necropolis: London and Its Dead

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