Death's Summer Coat

Death's Summer Coat : What the History of Death and Dying Can Tell Us About Life and Living

3.32 (50 ratings by Goodreads)
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A new conversation is starting on this most universal of topics. But to know where we are heading, we need to know where we have come from...Death is the one subject we will all confront; it touches our families, our homes, our hearts. And yet we have grown used to denying its existence, treating it as an enemy to be beaten back with medical advances. What led us to this point - what drove us to sanitize death and make it foreign and unfamiliar? In Death's Summer Coat Brandy Schillace explores our past to examine what it might mean for our future. From Victorian Britain to contemporary Cambodia, forgotten customs and modern-day rituals, we learn about the incredibly diverse - and sometimes just incredible - ways in which humans have dealt with mortality in different times and places. Today, as we begin to talk about mortality, there are difficult questions to face. What does it mean to have a 'good death'? What should a funeral do? As Schillace shows, talking about death and the rituals associated with it can help to provide answers. It also brings us closer together. And conversation and community are just as important for living as for dying.Some of the stories are strikingly unfamiliar; others are far more familiar than you might suppose. But all reveal a lot about the present - and about ourselves. It's time to meet the new (old) death. As seen reviewed in The Guardian in the article Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty review - startling stories from the crematorium. If you are keen to learn more, you can listen to the interview with Brandy Schillace on Radio Gorgeous or the interview on BBC Radio 4 Thinking Allowed, both to be aired in May more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 138 x 218 x 30mm | 479.99g
  • Elliott & Thompson Limited
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 178396040X
  • 9781783960408
  • 554,750

About Brandy Schillace

Dr Brandy Schillace writes about culture, the history of medicine, and the intersections of medicine and literature. She is Research Associate and guest curator for the Dittrick Medical History Center and Managing Editor of the international medical anthropology journal Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. She teaches for the SAGES department at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, and has lectured at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester, the University College of Dublin, and the New York Academy of Medicine. She writes forThe Huffi ngton Post and InsideHigherEd, among other more

Table of contents

Introduction: Meet the New (Old) Death 1 Chapter 1: Dead and Knowing It 15 Chapter 2: Eat Your Dead (and Other Advice) 43 Chapter 3: Through a Glass, Darkly 69 Chapter 4: Dying Victorian: Memento Mori, Hair Jewellery and Crape 99 Chapter 5: Death at the Anatomy Theatre 127 Chapter 6: Death and the Doctor 159 Chapter 7: Death Comes to Dinner 191 Epilogue: Beginning at the End 231 Notes 239 Index 259show more

Review quote

"Vivid, scholarly, enthralling and surprisingly touching, Death's Summer Coat is skilfully stitched together." -- Rupert Callender, editor of The Natural Death Handbook "A lively, panoramic view of our approach to death and dying that asks essential questions, and offers important insights, into the inevitable." -- Bess Lovejoy, author of Rest in Pieces "At once scholarly but also infused with personal narrative, Death's Summer Coat has something to offer everyone." - - Paul Koudounaris, author of Heavenly Bodies and The Empire of Death "A lovely book ... inspired by the Death Cafe movement" -- Lis Horwich, "Her academic acumen and historical analysis is plain for every reader to see, but so is her warm humanity. [...] The mixture of the analytical and the personal is part of what makes the book so readable." -- Richard Littledale, The Preacher's Blog; "The book ends as it began with an epilogue that is deeply personal and by the end of the work Schillace does feel a like someone you might have chatted with at a death-positive event. With its high readability factor, I am sure Death's Summer Coat will prove highly popular with Death Salon and Death cafe attendees." -- Dr. Christina Welch, Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University blog; "This is a delightful book. Beautifully written, and so crammed with fascinating insights that after I'd finished it I went through it again with my highlighter pen, in an attempt not to forget any of it ... Throughout, Brandy Schillace covers the heaviest of subjects with the lightest touch." -- Dr Katherine Sleeman, Clinical Lecturer, Cicely Saunders Institute, King's College Londonshow more

Rating details

50 ratings
3.32 out of 5 stars
5 8% (4)
4 32% (16)
3 46% (23)
2 12% (6)
1 2% (1)
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