The idea of visiting the graves of famous people (especially the ones you have learned about, or admired) is quite exceptional. If you can’t travel, the details here will be as interesting as if you were standing in front of the actual tombstone.
The author has divided the book into sections of Politics, Arts and Literature, Historic, Popular Music, Infamous, Film and TV, Criminal, and Antiquity. You can choose to begin by finding someone you know of and reading about their life (one to two pages) or randomly making your way through the sections.
Because SK Cooper was a history teacher, he has researched each life carefully and has produced a short precis of the characters life, death and eventual burial place. His writing is concise and insightful. For example, he writes about Lady Diana, “She defined herself as a woman, rather than being shaped, shackled, and controlled by those around her”. He writes of Marilyn Monroe, that the circumstances surrounding her death were quite suspicious. His biographies are all honest and factual. He moves seamlessly from Dante to Nelson Mandela, Buddy Holly, Whitney Houston, King Richard 3, Ned Kelly, Qui Shi Huang, and the builder of the Taj Mahal. All of them are described clearly, their achievements noted, and their final resting places shown.
In the introduction, SK Cooper suggests that many people wish to leave behind a memory of their presence after their death. For some people “there are permanent reminders of their place in history- tombs” We see the terracotta army in China, who watch over the emperor, and the great pyramid of Giza, built by Khufu. The Taj Mahal is a dedication to love as well as death.
The photographs in this book show pictures of the person discussed, as well as their final resting place. They give an added dimension to the stories. They act as a map, and guide to the grave of someone you might wish to find. It is really hard to put this book down, as the familiar faces pop up, or the area of interest, such as antiquity, unfolds.
This would make a fantastic coffee table book to skim through, a great conversation starter, or a great addition to a travel bag
|Publisher||New Holland Publishers|