This invaluable anthology is the first and only collection dedicated to the art of the eulogy. For the past several years, Phyllis Theroux has collected the most eloquent and moving writing commemorating a death, assessing a life, or offering solace to the bereaved. Ranging from Thomas Jefferson's magisterial eulogy for George Washington to Anna Quindlen's affectionate memorial for her grandmother; from Helen Keller's words about her dear friend Mark Twain to Adlai Stevenson's about Eleanor Roosevelt, The Book of Eulogies establishes that great eulogies are a celebration of remarkable lives that can illuminate, confirm, inspire, and redirect our own.
Theroux has included some of the world's most well-known tributes, such as Pericles' Funeral Oration, Jules Michelet's appreciation of Jeanne d'Arc, Victor Hugo's ringing words on the one hundredth anniversary of Voltaire's death, Cardinal Suenens's eulogy for Pope John XXIII. But most of the eulogized assembled here are eighteenth- to twentieth-century Americans, and the stories of their lives illuminate our history with a particularly intimate light. In Robert Kennedy's extemporaneous remarks upon hearing of the death of Martin Luther King, or Eugene McCarthy's tribute to his friend and colleague, Hubert Humphrey, the values, wisdom, and spirit of both the eulogized and the eulogizer are revealed.
The Book of Eulogies is a sourcebook for anyone who must find words of solace, understanding, and inspiration on the occasion of a beloved's death. It is also a treasury of astonishing eloquence, passion, and humanity a record of extraordinary lives, seen through the eyes of those who knew and loved them.
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About the Author
Phyllis Theroux is the author of California and Other States of Grace and Nightlights: Bedtime Stories for Parents in the Dark. The founder of the Nightwriters seminar, she is a magazine columnist, children's book writer, and was a regular essayist on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. She lives in Ashland, Virginia.