Saturday, August 01, 2015

Necropolis


I am reading this well-written book on the many, many dead buried in London. After spending 3+ months there and learning serial sections of the city very well, it is real treat to visit the history of events and people give the city its character. Every place, it seems is built on top of a cemetery and every cemetery has its story.

One of this the rare things that I especially enjoy is when a book has a cover that is a photograph I know. This is such book. In the upper portion of the cover above, you will see the entrance to the Egyptian Avenue in Highgate Cemetery. We visited there in the spring of 2014. I have a similar picture, although mine is from a vantage point off to the left of this one. Height is a most amazing place. People put their address over the entrance to their mausoleum to be sure that everyone know they were rich from the neighborhood they lived in as well as the one they were dead in.
Egyptian Avenue, Highgate Cemetery
Visiting Highgate, it is easy to see how the Victorians came to create the ghost story with the dread of the burial, the cold and dank place, the long remembrance of ancient things, and the ego to conquer it all. It is place of industrial burials with 17 or more stacked on top of one another in a single grave in places. It is place of deep affection where lovers remain embraced for eternity. It is a place of parental love without bounds. It is very human place even though there are no living humans in it. It is a tether to our past.

London is a magical city, filled with history, dramatic architecture, interesting people, and fun things to do. The more we visit there, the more we want to stay there.