The Royal Tombs of Great Britain: An Illustrated History
Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd, London, 2004.
Hardback; 165 x 240 mm; brown boards with titles in gold on spine; viii & 248 pages; illustrations within text. Original unclipped dust jacket.
The book is in fine condition save for a small mark on the fore edge page ends.
“The royal tombs of the British Isles have long been neglected as archaeological monuments. Within their sarcophagi, vaults, or graves, royal bodies underwent various treatments before burial. At one extreme, the flesh of Henry V was boiled off the bones. More generally, the internal organs were removed and the flesh treated with spices in a process akin to mummification. Having been interred, the royal dead were not necessarily left in peace. Some were moved from one burial place to another. Civil disturbance also disturbed royal slumbers, particularly during the Reformation, when a number of abbeys housing tombs - particularly in Scotland -were destroyed. Finally, throughout the ages, antiquarians or the curious have opened a number of the tombs to examine or verify their contents. It is from these researches that much of our knowledge of British royal tombs derives. Aidan Dodson provides a concise digest, largely based on primary source material, of all that is known about the various royal sepulchres of the rulers of Great Britain down to the present day. Entries include a biographical note on the tomb's owner, the circumstances of death, the architecture and decoration of the tomb, post-interment history, and bibliography. The book also includes summary details of the burials of royal consorts, of the Stuarts in exile, and of foreign monarchs buried in Great Britain. A final appendix lists and describes the principal chapels, churches, and mausolea that contain royal tombs.”