Journeys Among the Dead
A fascinating history of the changing – and enduring – beliefs about death, and what lies beyond.
In this vivid history of the macabre, Carl Watkins goes in search of the ancient customs, local characters and compelling tales that illuminate how people over the years have come to terms with our ultimate fate. He discovers what a small Norfolk church has to tell us about the apocalypse; why the greatest minds of the seventeenth century were embroiled in debate over the phantom Drummer of Tedworth; and how a nineteenth-century Welsh Druid completely changed the national view of cremation.
The result is an enthralling journey into Britain’s past, from medieval hauntings on the Yorkshire moors and eccentric memorials on the Cornish coast to séances in Victorian kitchens and gallows tales from a Bristol gaol. Impeccably researched and elegantly told, The Undiscovered Country ventures beyond the veil to bring the dead back to life.
“A first-class study of British attitudes to death and dying from the Middle Ages to the 20th century... A fascinating work of social history that is both scholarly and accessible to general readers”
“Watkins has a gift for conveying a feeling of place, and is good at conjuring up the dead, lifting the veil so that we can have a peek into the grave and beyond”
Good Book Guide