The Hour of Our Death

The Hour of Our Death


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The Hour of Our Death by Philippe Aries, Helen Weaver

In this enduring classic, Philippe Aries brings death out of the shadows and into history's mainstream. With unrivaled skill, he explores how over the last millennium the response to death and dying has changed dramatically in Europe, western Russia, and America, sometimes initiating, sometimes reflecting social shifts and progress.

Under Aire's incisive scrutiny, Church observances, pilgrimage and penance, and folk beliefs spring into high relief. Archaic funeral ceremonies, the architecture of tombs, and images of the deceased in stone or paint regain often lost meanings; the libre vitae, the artes morendi, and the danse macabre are stripped of mystery, and their purpose and power made plain. Through a rich array of journals and letters from all periods and classes, as well as religious and secular literature from Dante to Tolstoy and Twain, Aries demonstrates society's concern for reassurance against the finality of death and the individual's search for consolation.

Aries brilliantly analyzes death in the contemporary world in which the hospital, suburban chapel, and crematorium have replaced the bedside, priest, and wake. As his richly documented, finely illustrated, and engagingly written masterpiece confirms, death and dying have inspired much of the literature of---and art that forms---our cultural heritage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195073645
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 12/12/1991
Pages: 702
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.13(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

Philippe Ariès was an important French medievalist and historian of the family and childhood. He is also the author of Centuries of Childhood, which was translated into English in 1962. He died in Paris in 1984.

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