New Orleans Cemeteries: Life in the Cities of the Deadby Robert Florence
From the edge of the French Quarter to the heart of the bayou, New Orleans Cemeteries is a journey through her phenomenal cemeteries. Robert and Mason Florence depict the "cities of the dead" in all their grandeur and decay, their exquisite artisanship and humble memorials, their voluminous historical accounts of the city and undefinable spiritual qualities. This book follows the renowned tradition of New Orleans's multiple, aboveground burial from the founding of St. Louis Cemetery #1 in 1789 to All Saints' Day observances of recent years.
- Batture Press, Incorporated
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- 9.20(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.04(d)
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The Cities of the Dead can provide valuable insights into the cities of the living. This can be said about a lot of places – I recall wandering the cemetary of my hometown, and the one in Salem Massachusetts, just to cite two examples. However, probably nowhere in the world is this as true as in New Orleans, Louisiana. Robert Florence, along with his photographer brother Mason, attempted to provide some insight into the history of New Orleans by exploring its unique cemeteries. Their architecture, their rules, the sometimes unique “neighbors”, and the times when the various cemeteries were established, all contribute to telling the story of the much larger city built by and for the living. This is augmented by offering a few sidebars into some of the characters that might be found loitering in and around the cemeteries – perhaps helping to maintain the structures, perhaps begging, perhaps communing with spirits only they can see … This is a very nicely produced coffee table book, with more prose than is often found in such a publication. Somewhat difficult to pack and read on an airplane, perhaps, but beautiful to be displayed at the home – and yes, read and examined. Postscript: I acquired this book in 2001. I have to wonder just what effects Hurricane Katrina may have had on the cemeteries of New Orleans since publication. RATING: 4 1/2 stars. Going to round up to 5 stars on this one.