The Corpse: A History

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McFarland, Sep 17, 2015 - Social Science - 368 pages
Throughout the centuries, different cultures have established a variety of procedures for handling and disposing of corpses. Often the methods are directly associated with the deceased's position in life, such as a pharaoh's mummification in Egypt or the cremation of a Buddhist. Treatment by the living of the dead over time and across cultures is the focus of this study. Burial arrangements and preparations are detailed, including embalming, the funeral service, storage and transport of the body, and forms of burial. Autopsies and the investigative process of causes of deliberate death are fully covered. Preservation techniques such as cryonic suspension and mummification are discussed, as well as a look at the "recycling" of the corpse through organ donation, donation to medicine, animal scavengers, cannibalism, and, of course, natural decay and decomposition. Mistreatments of a corpse are also covered.

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User Review  - Meggo - LibraryThing

The story of what happens to the human body after death, including rituals, cause of death, preservation, and recycling of the corpse. From a technical point of view the book is well written and ... Read full review

The corpse: a history

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The significance of the corpse in society reflects what we think about death and dying, notes Quigley. How the living deal with the lifeless body is based on a profoundly complicated set of cultural ... Read full review


Part I The Corpse as an Object of Grief
Part II The Last Rites of a Corpse
Part III The Corpse and the Causes of Death
Part IV The Recycling of the Corpse
Part V The Keeping of the Corpse
Part VI Respect for the Corpse

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About the author (2015)

The late Christine Quigley authored books and articles, wrote an eclectic blog called Quigley’s Cabinet and reviewed books for Fortean Times.

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