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Customer Review

on 2 September 2013
This is a hugely informative and visually stunning book. It is next to impossible to read the text without getting repeatedly distracted by the beautiful photographs, which illustrate stronger than any words could, the reverence and religious devotion inherent in the creation of these skeletal masterpieces. Having studied English and European ossuaries and post-burial religious practises for a number of years, this is one of the few texts available that exemplifies the true meaning behind the Christian curation of human bones. The detailed narrative explains in precise detail the origin of the cult in question, and the motivations for the skeletons' current manner of display, while the reasons for their destruction and cessation of the cult are equally and fairly dealt with. Although this book concentrates on one example of Christian relic and ossuary creation, it also serves as an exemplar for understanding the concept of this fascinating rite as a whole. Instead of merely recording and expressing these practises as `macabre,' which is perhaps the initial impression gained by an observer unfamiliar with such sites and collections, the author has accurately established the deeply religious connotations of ossuary creation and human skeletal material curation, via both text and images.
Equally as captivating and revealing as his first book - I look forward to the next.
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