Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 12, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
A “marvelously macabre” (Kirkus Reviews) history of the bizarre afterlives of corpses of the celebrated and notorious dead.

For some of the most influential figures in history, death marked the start of a new adventure. The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated, and even filed away in a lawyer’s office. Their fingers, teeth, toes, arms, legs, skulls, hearts, lungs, and nether regions have embarked on voyages that crisscross the globe and stretch the imagination.

Counterfeiters tried to steal Lincoln’s corpse. Einstein’s brain went on a cross-country road trip. And after Lord Horatio Nelson perished at Trafalgar, his sailors submerged him in brandy—which they drank.

From Alexander the Great to Elvis Presley, and from Beethoven to Dorothy Parker, Rest in Pieces connects the lives of the famous dead to the hilarious and horrifying adventures of their corpses, and traces the evolution of cultural attitudes toward death.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AliceaP - LibraryThing

Yes, I'm somewhat fascinated by death culture. No, I don't think it's unhealthy. Yes, I do recognize it makes many people uncomfortable especially when walking around with a book somewhat shaped like ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sullywriter - LibraryThing

An entertaining collection of true stories about what became of corpses of the famous and infamous. Some humorous, some gruesome, and all interesting. Read full review

Contents

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
44
LEE HARVEY OSWALD
105
Body politics
121
JOHN PAUL JONES
168
DANTE ALIGHIERI
174
FREDERICK THE GREAT
183
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
202
GALILEO GALILEI
236
Last Wishes
259
Acknowledgments
277
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Bess Lovejoy is a writer, researcher, and editor based in Brooklyn. She worked on the Schott’s Almanac series for five years, and her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Believer, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.

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