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Essay on Sepulchres

GODWIN, William

Or, a Proposal for erecting some Memorial of the illustrious Dead in all Ages on the Spot where their Remains have been interred.


Published: W. Miller, 1809

Stock code: 2920

Price: £275.00

'In almost every ordinary church yard we may see altar-monuments, with the upper surface and some of the sides broken to pieces, and the whole a heap of ruins, even before they are fifty years old.' Godwin develops his thesis with passion, with fascinating references to the array and state of monuments in St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey, and an account of visits to Thetford, Valle Crucis Abbey, Ewelme, Kenilworth, Reading Abbey and the Seven Churches in Ireland. He concludes with a request for an atlas or catalogue of sepulchres along the lines of a traveller's guide, to be 'of a very different measure of utility from the 'Catalogue of Gentlemen's Seats' which is now appended to the 'Book of Post-Roads through Every Part of Great Britain'. Godwin's eccentric treatise was the favourite book of his daughter Mary Shelley. Lamb, writing to Coleridge, termed it 'a very pretty, absurd book about sepulchres'. NCBEL II, 1250; Tinker 1083.