Permanent Londoners: An Illustrated Biographical Guide to the Cemeteries of London by Judi Culbertson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I love the Culbertson and Randall “Permanent” series books because they don’t strive to be comprehensive. Other cemetery guides become tedious lists of all the famous people jammed into a cemetery, but these books go for depth instead, collecting up biographies of a few choice permanent residents. It’s arguable you take more away from this series than the others, where either you recognize the famous names or you don’t.
While Permanent Londoners spends a fair amount of time on the Magnificent Seven cemeteries (Brompton, Highgate, Kensal Green, etc.), it really shines for poking around inside landmarks that make up in history what they lack in acreage. Four chapters explore Westminster Abbey; one covers the Poets’ Corner alone. Other chapters look into the Tower of London and St. Paul’s crypt. That’s worth the price of the book right there, as far as I’m concerned.
I also like that the book wanders as far as Windsor Castle, discussing the monarchs who chose to be buried at home, rather than in town.
My copy was published in 1996, but I see a more recent version came out in 2000. I hope someone allows them to update it for the current decade.
You can find some used copies of the 2000 edition on Amazon here: Permanent Londoners: An Illustrated Biographical Guide to the Cemeteries of London
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