Necropolis Book Review

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Taphophile Book Reviews

A Taphophiles Book Review of Necropolis: London and its Dead

The book tiled Necropolis: London and its Dead is wonderfully written by Catharine Arnold and is a taphophiles dream book to own. I was enthralled from the first page to the last when I read it prior to my visit to London for the first time to visit Highgate Cemetery.

Necropolis: London and its Dead

Catharine Arnold’s passion for London and its dead simply filled me with awe and excitement and I couldn’t wait to visit this magnificent city of the dead that is steeped in a dark history and has so many secrets yet to be told. It was very evident that when I was to visit, I could be walking over thousands upon thousands of bones from the numerous graveyards and cemeteries that have been created to cope with the population of London from Saxon times through to Victorian.

As London still grows, excavation works are revealing the secrets of the dead and in some places, the population of skeletons in grave pits, is so dense that underground railway tunnels have to be dug around them. I wish a photo could have been included in the book, but then again, with an imagination like mine, Catharine’s text was enough.

A Taphophiles Dream Book

This book is a must for any taphophile to own and enjoy as it’s thoroughly fascinating. It’s not a reference book like others in my collection. London Necropolis takes you on an historical adventure ride and it’s very hard to get off at the next stop. In fact, when I decided to write reviews of the books I own, I picked this book up to recap on its magnificence and I’m stuck on that thrilling ride again, reading all about the ‘Danse Macabre’ and ‘Memento Mori’, two of my favourite topics.

If I was ever lucky enough to have a book published, showcasing my passion for graveyard and cemetery photography, I would certainly look to Catharine Arnold for inspiration. 

Catharine takes you on a journey through time and she beautifully demonstrated her detailed research with quotes and references from well known figures like Shakespeare and Dickens that perfectly provides you with a taste of London and its mass of rotting corpses visible to their eyes due to graveyards being overcrowded. Through her writing style, she takes YOU back in time to witness and experience what it was like to live among the dead and the desperate need to create the magnificent cemeteries to restore tranquility among the living.

What do you think of Necropolis: London and its Dead?

This book is my favourite taphophile book and if like me, you have a fascination with graveyards, cemeteries and burial customs, I’m very confident that you will love this book as well. If you have already read it, please add your comments below or join us at the Headstone Symbols Facebook group page and start a discussion there.

Below is a link through to Catharine Arnold’s book, Necropolis: London and Its Dead on Amazon and if you purchase it via this link, you will be helping to support the running of Headstone Symbols.

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