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A Tomb With a View – The Stories & Glories of Graveyards

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781472267801

Price: £20

ON SALE: 3rd September 2020

Genre: Society & Social Sciences / Sociology & Anthropology

A FINANCIAL TIMES, I PAPER AND STYLIST BOOK OF THE YEAR


‘In his absorbing book about the lost and the gone, Peter Ross takes us from Flanders Fields to Milltown to Kensal Green, to melancholy islands and surprisingly lively ossuaries . . . a considered and moving book on the timely subject of how the dead are remembered, and how they go on working below the surface of our lives.’ – Hilary Mantel

‘Ross is a wonderfully evocative writer, deftly capturing a sense of place and history, while bringing a deep humanity to his subject. He has written a delightful book.’ – The Guardian

‘The pages burst with life and anecdote while also examining our relationship with remembrance.’ Financial Times (best travel books of 2020)

Among the year’s most surprising “sleeper” successes is A Tomb with a View. In a year with so much death, it may have initially seemed a hard sell, but the author’s humanity has instead acted as a beacon of light in the darkness.’
The Sunday Times

‘Fascinating . . . Ross makes a likeably idiosyncratic guide and one finishes the book feeling strangely optimistic about the inevitable.’ – The Observer

Ross has written [a] lively elegy to Britain’s best burial grounds.’ – Evening Standard (*Best New Books of Autumn 2020*)

‘One of the non-fiction books of the year.’ – The i paper (*2020 Best Books for Christmas*)

‘Brilliant.’ – Stylist (*Best Christmas books for Christmas 2020*)

‘Never has a book about death been so full of life. James Joyce and Charles Dickens would’ve loved it – a book that reveals much gravity in the humour and many stories in the graveyard. It also reveals Peter Ross to be among the best non-fiction writers in the country.’ – Andrew O’Hagan

‘His stories are always a joy.’
– Ian Rankin

‘I’m a card-carrying admirer of Peter Ross.’
– Robert Macfarlane

‘A startling, delight-filled tour of graveyards and the people who love them, dazzlingly told.’
– Denise Mina

‘A phenomenal, lyrical, beautiful book.’ – Frank Turner

‘A walk through the graveyards of Britain guided by one of the most engaging wordsmiths willing to take you by the hand.’ – The Big Issue (*Best Books 2020*)

‘A celebration of life and of love. It confronts our universal fate but tends towards a comforting embrace of mortality. It is also imbued with something deeply moving.’ – The Herald

‘Beautifully written and strangely life affirming.’ – Norman Blake, Teenage Fanclub

For readers of The Salt Path, Mudlarking, Ghostland, Kathleen Jamie and Robert Macfarlane.

Enter a grave new world of fascination and delight as award-winning writer Peter Ross uncovers the stories and glories of graveyards. Who are London’s outcast dead and why is David Bowie their guardian angel? What is the remarkable truth about Phoebe Hessel, who disguised herself as a man to fight alongside her sweetheart, and went on to live in the reigns of five monarchs? Why is a Bristol cemetery the perfect wedding venue for goths?

All of these sorrowful mysteries – and many more – are answered in A Tomb With A View, a book for anyone who has ever wandered through a field of crooked headstones and wondered about the lives and deaths of those who lie beneath.

So push open the rusting gate, push back the ivy, and take a look inside…

Reviews

[a] celebration of life and of love. It confronts our universal fate but tends towards a comforting embrace of mortality. It is also imbued with something deeply moving.
The Herald
A brilliant buy
Stylist
A phenomenal, lyrical, beautiful book
Frank Turner
A startling, delight-filled tour of graveyards and the people who love them, dazzlingly told.
Denise Mina
A startling, delight-filled tour of graveyards and the people who love them, dazzlingly told.
Denise Mina
A walk through the graveyards of Britain guided by one of the most engaging wordsmiths willing to take you by the hand.
The Big Issue
Absorbing . . . considered and moving.
Hilary Mantel
Among the year's most surprising "sleeper" successes is A Tomb with a View, Peter Ross's critically acclaimed ode to "the stories and glories of graveyards". In a year with so much death, it may have initially seemed a hard sell, but the author's humanity has instead acted as a beacon of light in the darkness.
The Sunday Times
An informative, playful work stuffed full of memorable stories
The i Paper
Beautifully written and strangely life affirming.
Norman Blake, Teenage Fanclub
Everyday humanity, an acknowledgement of how life continues in the presence of the dead. . . is writ large in A Tomb with a View, in Ross's encounters with tour guides, local historians, a gardener, a stonecutter, even a recent widow.
Prospect
Fascinating . . . Ross makes a likeably idiosyncratic guide and one finishes the book feeling strangely optimistic about the inevitable.
The Observer
His stories are always a joy.
Ian Rankin
I have nothing but admiration for his way to winkle out a story from the living as well as paying homage to the dead.
The Scotsman
I'm a card-carrying admirer of Peter Ross.
Robert Macfarlane
It is not too fanciful to talk of the soul of A Tomb With A View. It is replete with stories but it echoes with something profound.
The Herald
Never has a book about death been so full of life. James Joyce and Charles Dickens would've loved it - a book that reveals much gravity in the humour and many stories in the graveyard. It also reveals Peter Ross to be among the best non-fiction writers in the country.
Andrew O'Hagan
Peter Ross makes a fine contribution to the library of books about "being planted". . . I have nothing but admiration for his way to winkle out a story from the living as well as paying homage to the dead
The Scotsman’s Scottish Books of the Year
Ross has written [a] lively elegy to Britain's best burial grounds.
Evening Standard
Ross is a wonderfully evocative writer, deftly capturing a sense of place and history, while bringing a deep humanity to his subject. He has written a delightful book.
The Guardian
Ross's book is an engaging ramble among the gravestones and burial plots of Britain and Ireland
Irish Examiner
Scottish journalist Ross's meander around graveyards raises profound questions about the way in which we mourn
I News - Christmas Gift Guide 2020
The pages burst with life and anecdote while also examining our relationship with remembrance.
Financial Times
An evocative and uplifting exploration of cemeteries, where every headstone has a story to tell. . . Ross is a wonderfully evocative writer, deftly capturing a sense of place and history, while bringing a deep humanity to his subject. He has written a delightful book.
The Guardian Book of The Day
Ross' development into a sensitive and empathetic observer of social ritual has culminated in this treasure
The Big Issue