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A Tomb With a View: The Stories and Glories of Graveyards: Scottish Non-fiction Book of the Year 2021

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But empathy gets you the whole story, the kind of story Ross heard from that woman in Devon and which is echoed throughout this engaging book, filled as it is with life, and loss, and love.

This shows the wealth of books about death, dying and the dead; you can spend years reading about these topics and never encounter a single place for burial. Because of this book, I would like to explore even more than I already have about how others approach death, burials, and more. A tomb with a view brings to live so many aspects of history that might easily be forgotten; inconspicuous tomb stones can have a wealth of fascinating information about the past behind them. The final chapter of A Tomb with a View discusses Arnos Vale, a cemetery in Bristol, England and one that I am quite familiar with, as I lived next door in Bath for four years. By using the Web site, you confirm that you have read, understood, and agreed to be bound by the Terms and Conditions.

This makes many rich connections, for instance between the outcasts of Crossbones in Southwark, and Ireland's incinerated plots for unnoticed babies. I loved the story of the couple who were born on the same day as each other, married on their birthday and who died on the day they were both 80. Firstly, it is obviously a place to bury the dead, but many cemeteries are filled to capacity and since burial in the UK is in perpetuity, spaces are running out. I fought back tears as he learned about cillini (pronounced killeeni), the little burial grounds, usually unmarked, found all over Ireland.

It is therefore wonderful that Ross has collected and written down these stories; if the physical cemeteries disappear the stories behind them will be around for as long as copies of A Tomb With a View are available. It is not always about the place, sometime it is about the ritual and respect that the dead deserves. Good feature writing demands having an eye for detail, an ability to ask tough questions and a certain humility too: the journalist is just a fly on the wall, not omniscient. A fascinating and brilliant book, so unexpected and so life affirming - if that is not contradictory in a book about the dead. I love Peter Ross's writing - he always treats his subjects with kindness and curiosity, and in A Tomb With a View, he demonstrates that he extends that curtesy to the dead as well as the living.Amelia Edwards travelled around Egypt long before it was acceptable for women to travel without male company. I learned that women are usually referred to as "the wife of" or the "mother of" instead of by name like men out of respect. Some of these big places are stunningly beautiful, and the English there often at their most eccentric.

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