Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Holiday Book in Review: Corpses, Coffins and Crypts

Corpses, Coffins and Crypts - A History of Burial By: Penny Colman
Non-fiction: children's, science, history 192 pages
Book Count: 91

This book is for older kids/pre-teens. It deals with death and ways people deal with dead bodies. It combines personal experiences with scientific facts and historical information in a way that works well for younger readers (i.e. it isn't just a cold and clinical look at the subject, nor is it overly emotional.) It deals with how we know someone is dead, including ways people in a past made sure the weren't buried alive. How people understand death. Both in how your understanding changes as you age and how people in different cultures/religions understand it. What physically happens to a body after death, including the basics of what happens at an autopsy or embalming. What people do with the body after death. This includes cremation, burial and other methods used in different areas and religions. Cemeteries, urns, mausoleums, columbariums and other places to put the body/ashes are also talked about. And also rituals connected with death, again going over how things were done at different times and by different religions/cultures. It also deals with death in art. After all this is information on requests that different people had for after they died, epitaphs, meaning of symbols on graves and a list of where some famous (dead) people are at.

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