My New Favorite Cemetery Book

Cemeteries of Illinois: A Field Guide to Markers, Monuments, and MotifsCemeteries of Illinois: A Field Guide to Markers, Monuments, and Motifs by Hal Hassen and Dawn Cobb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my new favorite cemetery book. It covers the history of burial in the state of Illinois from the Mound Builders to the modern lawn cemeteries. Along the way, it defines the different materials for marking graves, explores gravestone iconography, and is generally to cemeteries what the Audubon Guide is to birds. This is a perfect beginner book, even if you don’t live in Illinois. It would be a perfect textbook for a cemetery history class.

The only issue one might have with the book is that while it contains almost 300 full-color photos, they are purely snapshots, not artwork. I didn’t find that a drawback, but then I have a couple hundred cemetery books, many of them focusing on the artistry of cemetery landscaping and sculpture. This book serves as a nice companion to those.

I bought it on the basis of a glowing review in the Association for Gravestone Studies Quarterly. It did not disappoint.

You can pick up a copy to entice someone else into loving cemeteries from Amazon: https://amzn.to/337LdaY. Check out the “also bought” links at the bottom of that page. I was surprised to discover that you can get a deal on 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die!

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

About Loren Rhoads

I'm the editor of Tales for the Camp Fire: An Anthology Benefiting Wildfire Relief. I'm also author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel, as well as a space opera trilogy. I'm co-author of a series about a succubus and her angel.
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