#002104 The Victorian Book of the Dead

The Victorian Book of the Dead by Chris Woodyard

The Victorian Book of the Dead by Chris Woodyard


INTERNATIONAL BUYERS, PLEASE NOTE: Free shipping is for United States purchases only.  With a few exceptions, we are happy to ship internationally.  Please contact us at invisiblei@aol.com with your shipping details so that we can send you a Paypal invoice with the proper shipping. International rates vary from $15-$75, depending on service and size and weight of the package.

NEW! The Victorian Book of the Dead, Chris Woodyard

[ISBN 978-0-9881925-2-2] 7 x 10″ 360 pp. Trade PB, $19.99 NEW!

For a fact sheet, including table of contents, see this link. For the indexes, see this page.

Reviews: Strange Company, The Magonia Review of Books, Dr Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog, Boroughs of the Dead


Requested autograph
Or, if you would like personally autographed copies, please e-mail us with the name(s.)
There is growing interest in death and some of the more morbid aspects of its history.  Having grown up with tales and artifacts of Victorian death, like post-mortem photographs, Chris Woodyard, author of the popular Haunted Ohio series and The Ghosts of the Past series, digs through long-buried newspapers and journals, for this fascinating look at the 19th-century obsession with the culture of death. The Victorian Book of the Dead unearths extraordinary tales of Victorian funeral fads and fancies, ghost stories, bizarre deaths, mourning novelties, gallows humor, premature burial, post-mortem photographs, death omens, and funeral disasters.  Resurrected from original sources, these accounts reveal the oddities and eccentricities of Victorian mourning. Packed with macabre anecdotes, this diverting, yet gruesome collection presents tales ranging from the paranormal and shocking to the heartbreaking.Some of the stories in The Victorian Book of the Dead: *mourning bicycles, black boudoirs, and sable cigarettes for the up-to-date widow

*a child’s ghost who beckoned for her father to follow her into death

*the shrieking banshee who foretold death and disaster

*the widow who fired the undertaker who wouldn’t give her trading stamps.

*a corpse that spontaneously combusted in the coffin

*the fiendish parrot who murdered his mistress

*Professor Segato’s petrified corpse furniture

*visions of the Grim Reaper and the Angel of Death

*the man who lived in his wife’s tomb

*A mourning wreath made from a murdered family’s hair

*interviews with undertakers, post-mortem photographers and morgue attendants

And many more tales from the crypts.



Introduction: A Deathbed, by Dickens

1“I Am the Death Angel:” Victorian Personifications of Death

2 A Baby’s Coffin in the Air: Banshees, Black Dogs, and Other Harbingers of Death

3 Died of Lizards: Strange Deaths from Poisoned Stockings to Self-Decapitation

4 The Trades of Woe: Undertakers, Grave-diggers, and Dead-Men’s Razors

5 Crape: Its Uses and Abuses

6 Fashions for the Dead: Life’s Vanities Perpetuated in the Costumes of the Grave

7 The Corpse Sat Up: Wakes and Watches Gone Wrong

8 “A Ghastly Kind of Business:” Photographing the Dead

9 Fiends for a Funeral: Amateur Mourners and Funerary Extravagance

10 Grave Errors: Exploding Corpses, Flaming Formaldehyde, and Other Funeral Fatalities

11 The Picture on the Coffin Lid: Haunted Cemeteries and Other Venues of Death

12 The Habiliments of Woe: Products for Correct Mourning

13 The Inconsolable Grief Department: Fashionable Widows and Their Whims

14 The Restless Dead: Ghosts With a Purpose

15 Bone of My Bone: Collecting Corpses, Relics, and Remains

16 The Museum of Death: The Horrors of the Morgue

17 “Death never could gather a fairer flower:” Deathbeds and Sorrow.


General Index

Index by Location