1st Edition

Death, Ritual, and Bereavement

Edited By Ralph Houlbrooke Copyright 1989
    262 Pages
    by Routledge

    262 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Originally published in 1989, Death, Ritual and Bereavement examines the social history of death and dying from 1500 to the 1930s. This edited collection focuses on the death-bed, funerals, burials, mourning customs, and the expression of grief. The essays throw fresh light on developments which lie at the roots of present-day tendencies to minimize or conceal the most unpleasant aspects of death, among them the growing participation of doctors in the management of death-beds in the eighteenth century and the creation of extra-mural cemeteries, followed by the introduction of cremation in the nineteenth century. The volume also underlines the importance of religious belief, in helping the bereaved in past times. The book will appeal to students and academics of family and social history as well as history of medicine, religion and anthropology.


    1. Introduction, Ralph Houlbrooke

    2. Death, Church, and Family in England Between the Late Fifteenth and the Early Eighteenth Centuries, Ralph Houlbrooke

    3. The Good Death in Seventeenth-Century England, Lucinda McCray Beier

    4. Godly Grief: Individual Responses to Death in Seventeenth-Century Britain, Anne Laurence

    5. Death and the Doctors in Georgian England, Roy Porter

    6. The Burial Question in Leeds in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, Jim Morgan

    7. Why was Death so Big in Victorian Britain, Ruth Richardson

    8. Ashes to Ashes: Cremation and the Celebration of Death in Nineteenth-Century Britain, Jennifer Leaney

    9. The Two Faces of Death: Children’s Magazines and their Treatment of Death in the Nineteenth Century, Diana Dixon

    10. Victorian Unbelief and Bereavement, Martha McMackin Garland

    11. Death, Grief, and Mourning in the Upper-Class Family, 1860-1914, Pat Jalland

    12. The Lancashire Way of Death, Elizabeth Roberts



    The Contributors



    Ralph Houlbrooke