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Devoted to free Ireland from British dominance, Jeremiah Knox joined the Fenian Brotherhood in the late 1880s committed to remove the British by military insurrection. Realizing the limits of armed rebellion, he enrolled at Edinburg University to study law in the belief that political persuasion coupled with military action would be the most effective course to remove the oppressors. During a summer break in his studies he planned an ambush of a British munitions train. Snitches in the Fenian Brotherhood revealed the plot to the British exposing Jeremiah and his fellow conspirators. The majority of the Fenian prisoners were sentenced to long jail terms. A first time offender, Jeremiah’s sentence was immediate deportation, exiled to the United States where a family member had sponsored him. On arriving in Boston, Jeremiah learned that his family, opposed to his politics and in concert with the court in Dublin, had him dispatched to a stone quarry in Central Massachusetts. Alone and isolated in quiet region of the country, he was far away from his political connections in Ireland as well as from the Fenians active in cities along the East Coast. There, sentenced to back-breaking labor cutting stones for graveyards, he knew he must find a new platform in life to replace his career in law. Angels on a Tombstone is a sweeping novel that traces one man’s life from exile to the search for meaning and involvement in the New World. It tracks his evolution from stoic acceptance of his condition to a life full of opportunity, love and, inevitably, loss.
Inspirational auto-biography, for primarrly. The christian community.
Forster's early novel offers an intriguing contrast of English and Italian sensibilities. It recounts an Englishman's journey to Tuscany, where he attempts to rescue his brother's widow from an unsuitable romance.
In his probing study of the role of death rites in the making of Islamic society, Leor Halevi imaginatively plays prescriptive texts against material culture and advances new ways of interpreting highly contested sources. His original research reveals that religious scholars of the early Islamic period produced codes of funerary law not only to define the handling of a Muslim corpse but also to transform everyday urban practices. Relying on oral traditions, these scholars established new social patterns in the cities of Arabia, Mesopotamia, and the eastern Mediterranean. They distinguished Islamic rites from Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian rites and changed the way men and women interacted publicly and privately. In each chapter Halevi explores a different layer of human interaction, following the movement of the corpse from the deathbed to the grave. In the process he analyzes the real and imaginary relationships between husbands and wives, prayer leaders and mourners, and even dreamers and the dead. He describes how Muslims wailed for the deceased, prepared corpses for burial, marched in funerary processions, and prayed for the dead, highlighting the specific economic and political factors involved in these rituals as well as key religious and sexual divisions. Offering a unique perspective on the making of Islamic social and religious ideals during this early period, Halevi forges a fascinating link between the development of funerary rites and the efforts of an emerging religion to carve out its own, distinct identity. Muhammad's Grave is a groundbreaking history of the rise of Islam and the roots of contemporary Muslim attitudes toward the body and society.
Successor to Twain's first collection of travel memoirs takes a second look at Europe. This time, his amusement bears a more cynical cast, as he sees the sights through older and more experienced eyes.
An “invitation to dine” quickly loses a letter as DI John Redfyre returns for his second investigation in the hallowed halls of Cambridge academia. Cambridge, 1924 in early summertime. May Balls, punting on the Cam, flirting and dancing the tango are the preoccupations of bright young people, but bright young Detective Inspector John Redfyre finds himself mired in multiple murders. One morning, his dog discovers a corpse neatly laid on a tombstone in the graveyard adjoining St. Bede’s College. An army greatcoat and well-worn boots suggest the dead man may have been a former soldier, though the empty bottle of brandy and a card bearing the words “An Invitation to Dine” on the victim ring a discordant note. Even more unsettling is the autopsy, which reveals death by strangulation and unusual contents in the stomach from the man’s last meal. Redfyre learns that this murder is one of several unsolved cases linked to a secretive and sinister dining club at St. Bede’s. Redfyre, himself an ex-rifleman, becomes caught in a dark tale of revenge, betrayal and injustice—a lingering mystery from a long-forgotten war. With the unlikely assistance of his lead suspect, he gradually unearths the dead man’s story and fights to right an ancient wrong.
Last Landscapes is an exploration of the cult and celebration of death, loss and memory. It traces the history and design of burial places throughout Europe and the USA, ranging from the picturesque tradition of the village churchyard to tightly packed "cities of the dead", such as the Jewish Cemetery in Prague and Père Lachaise in Paris. Other landscapes that feature in this book include the war cemeteries of northern France, Viking burial islands in central Sweden, Etruscan tombs and early Christian catacombs in Italy, the 17th-century Portuguese–Jewish cemetery "Beth Haim" at Ouderkerk in the Netherlands, Forest Lawns in California, Derek Jarman’s garden in Kent and the Stockholm Woodland Cemetery. It is a fact that architecture "began with the tomb", yet, as Ken Worpole shows us in Last Landscapes, many historic cemeteries have been demolished or abandoned in recent times (notably the case with Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe), and there has been an increasing loss of inscription and memorialization in the modern urban cemetery. Too often cemeteries today are both poorly designed and physically and culturally marginalized. Worse, cremation denies a full architectural response to the mystery and solemnity of death. The author explores how modes of disposal – burial, cremation, inhumation in mausoleums and wall tombs – vary across Europe and North America, according to religious and other cultural influences. And Last Landscapes raises profound questions as to how, in an age of mass cremation, architects and landscape designers might create meaningful structures and settings in the absence of a body, since for most of history the human body itself has provided the fundamental structural scale. This evocative book also contemplates other forms of memorialization within modern societies, from sculptures to parks, most notably the extraordinary Duisberg Park, set in a former giant steelworks in Germany’s Ruhr Valley.

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