In the Catacombs

In the Catacombs : A Summer Among the Dead Poets of West Norwood Cemetery

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Opened in 1837 and inspired by the Pere Lachaise in Paris, West Norwood became known as the Millionaire's Cemetery. But within its opulent grounds there are twelve buried names whose currency is language: these are the dead poets of West Norwood. In the first instalment of a project to map the Magnificent Seven, Chris McCabe takes us off the main track of London writing and asks why the works of Hopkins, Tennyson and Browning are still read above those buried in this suburban enclave of South London. Join McCabe on the hunt for a great lost poet, as he walks the winding Gothic paths of the Cemetery and makes an unexpected discovery underground in the catacombs. The stories of those loved and dismissed by Charles Dickens are carefully uncovered; those who influenced Lewis Carroll and Winston Churchill; and those whose burial in the common ground has not been enough to silence them. A startling and original work of literary detection, In the Catacombs is written across a range of forms - prose, Gothic fiction, criticism and poetry - and places West Norwood Cemetery and its dead poets back into the foreground of the London psyche.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 150 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 17.53mm | 453.59g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1908058196
  • 9781908058195
  • 995,169

About Chris McCabe

Chris McCabe was born in Liverpool in 1977. His poetry collections are The Hutton Inquiry, Zeppelins and THE RESTRUCTURE. He has recorded a CD with the Poetry Archive and his work is included in numerous anthologies including Identity Parade: New British and Irish Poets, Adventures in Form and Dear World & Everyone in it. His plays Shad Thames, Broken Wharf and Mudflats have been performed in London and Liverpool. He works as the Poetry Librarian at The Saison Poetry Library and teaches for The Poetry School. His work has been described by the Guardian as 'an impressively inventive survey of the uses of English in the early 21st century'.
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