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15+ Works 4,739 Membros 131 Críticas 4 Favorited

About the Author

Judith Flanders is a social historian. Her works include the best-selling The Invention of Murder, and Inside the Victorian Home. She is senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham.

Includes the name: Judith Flanders


Obras por Judith Flanders

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London (2012) 556 exemplares, 13 críticas
A Murder of Magpies (2014) 304 exemplares, 26 críticas
Christmas: A Biography (2017) 200 exemplares, 4 críticas
A Bed of Scorpions (2015) 148 exemplares, 10 críticas
A Cast of Vultures (2016) 104 exemplares, 5 críticas
A Howl of Wolves (2018) 57 exemplares, 5 críticas
Poems for Christmas (2019) — Introdução — 7 exemplares

Associated Works

Mysteries of the Ancient World (1979) — Editor, algumas edições531 exemplares, 4 críticas
Lost Narratives: The Work of Catherine Bertola (2005) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
London, England, UK
Locais de residência
Montréal, Québec, Canada
Lausanne, Switzerland
Saratoga Springs, New York, USA
Skidmore College (history)
journalist (arts)
dance critic
Bill Hamilton

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Judith Flanders is a New York Times bestselling author and one of the foremost social historians of the Victorian era. She is also the author of a crime fiction series. She lives in London. [adapted from The Making of Home (2015)]



This is a fabulous book, rich with detail about mourning customs, practices, and beliefs, and ranges over primary sources, literature and poetry, biographical details of the famous and the poor. Although the research is clearly rigorous, she has a great narrative style, which keeps it eminently readable. The book is organised into chapters that trace death from the first signs (the nursing of the ill) to the final (Victorian beliefs about the afterlife and mourning). In between, are chapters on funeral practices (in which you learn that placing cut flowers on graves is actually a comparatively new practice), on mourning clothes (I learned a lot about how to look after black crepe, the mourning material of choice), on the use of churchyards as spaces for mourning (and play, and gardens), and the gradual transformation of funerals in public and private from religious rites to commercialized practices. Despite the grim subject matter, there is a great deal of tenderness for the unloved and disrespected (as demonstrated by her careful attention to paupers' funerals, as well as the disparity in how suicides by the poor were criminalized and treated as blasphemous, as opposed to the rich, whose suicides were romanticised and forgiven). Unexpectedly, there's also humour: Flanders notes that the social practice of funeral customs had become so widely commercialized and complex that even Victorian cartoonists mocked them (she included pictures of said cartoons). She doesn't waste a lot of time on the more well-documented Victorian matters in this regard; for example, her discussion on grave-robbing for supplies to surgeons is limited, and focuses mostly on the question of

There are so many small and minute details that I found fascinating. Flanders notes, for instance, that early records of deaths were maintained chiefly by women known as ‘searchers,’ who rarely received acknowledgment or credit for the vital data that they collected (chapter 4, ‘Before the Funeral’). Her investigation of Victorian literature also shows the differing attitudes to women remarrying, versus men, and the harsh criticism women received for the way they mourned (she has a great bit from Anthony Trollope, who criticises a woman for mourning too much, yet not enough; for wearing too much black but not appropriately black clothing; for not crying enough except when she cries too much; for being too poor when she married her late husband but for being too rich when he dies). I think the great value of this book is not only the careful and thorough research (and the fact that most of it was achieved during Covid lockdowns!) but also the careful and thoughtful scrutiny she keeps on the class and gender aspects that we, as lay readers, might not know of, or appreciate.
… (mais)
rv1988 | Jul 8, 2024 |
it feels kind of nice and unremarkable, but then I accidentally read it in a single 24 hour period, so it's doing something very right!
ansate | 25 outras críticas | Jun 9, 2024 |
Went through this book very quickly (maybe too quickly). Enjoyed the intelligent writing and wit. As for the plot, the book is a mystery involving the publishing and fashion industries. I enjoyed the overall plot, but found it got a bit convoluted with lots of characters and intricacies of money laundering that I wasn't always sure I was following. I prefer Alan Bradley's books, but would definitely give another Judith Flanders mystery a try if she chooses to write one.
jj24 | 25 outras críticas | May 27, 2024 |
What a lark! I loved Sam's sarcastic sense of humor. A quick read. Lots of twists! I had a great time listening to this one. I'm glad to see this is the first of a series. I look forward to more!
njcur | 25 outras críticas | May 8, 2024 |



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