As a semi-professional creepy person and recovering goth, this was the perfect book for me! It was a Christmas gift from my mom, who has always been my cemetery buddy and BFF in morbidity.
I travel a lot, and I’m always looking for a good cemetery to visit that has connections to the history of the locations I visit. I’ve actually been to several of the cemeteries on the list in the USA and Europe, and it would be a serious dream to visit them all. I’ve loved many cemeteries for many different reasons, but if was forced to choose an all-time favorite, it would probably be Pére Lachaise, which seems to be everyone else’s favorite, too. I mean, it’s amazing to read about how many cemetery planners used PC as an inspiration for their own boneyards. It was really cool to read about how and why the cemeteries were planned and what the creators were thinking during the design process.
The pictures in the book are gorgeous. I don’t keep many books once I’ve read them, because I live in a tiny condo where space is at a premium, but I can promise you I’m keeping this one. In fact, it is going on a road trip with my family and I this summer as we drive out to New England. One I know for sure we’ll be visiting (again) is the cemetery in New Haven, CT. I’ve been before and I can’t wait to go again and walk under the Egyptian gate!
If you’re a creepo cemetery wanderer like me, this is the book for you. I would recommend you pair this with “Stories in Stone” by Douglas Keister.
My one criticism of this book is that it focuses on a very Western-centric, Anglo view of history and importance. I figured in the USA section there would be more about Native American sacred places, or in other countries, showing off burial sites from native peoples. There were some, but there was also a great silence, which speaks instead, perhaps, to the disappearance of these sites or that they are not being cared for and have been erased, as the colonizers have always wanted to do with the culture of those they colonize.