This 2002 book is an exploration in social history, showing how the practices surrounding death and burial can illumine urban culture and experience. Vanessa Harding focuses on the crowded and turbulent worlds of early modern London and Paris, and makes rich use of contemporary documentation to compare and contrast their experience of dealing with the dead. The two cities shared many of the problems and pressures of urban life, including high mortality rates and a tradition of Christian burial and there are many similarities in their responses to death. The treatment of the dead reveals the communities' preoccupation with the use of space, control of the physical environment and the ordering of society and social behaviour.
• Major study of death in the two great cities of Northern Europe • A vivid evocation of the impact of Reformation on a major cultural practice, with numerous examples from specific sites in both Paris and London • Richly documented and illustrated from contemporary accounts
List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Note on spelling, sums of money, etc.; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction; 2. London and Paris, the setting of life and death; 3. 'Lamentable pinfoulds of the deaths of men': parish churchyards and churchyard burial; 4. Innocents and outcasts: civic and non-parochial churchyards; 5. 'Making churches charnel houses': the constraints of church burial; 6. 'A fine and private place': burial chapels, vaults and tombs; 7. 'Meet and convenient for my estate and degree': funeral conventions and choices; 8. 'The whole profit of the funeralls': commercialisation and consumption; 9. 'The last love and ceremony': funerals, community and civic identity; 10. Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.