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The Dead and the Living in Paris and London, 1500-1670

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The Dead and the Living in Paris and London, 1500-1670


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This book is an exploration in social history, showing how the practices surrounding death and burial can illumine urban culture and experience. Vanessa Harding focuses on the crowded and turbulent worlds of early modern London and Paris, and makes rich use of contemporary documentation to compare and contrast their experience of dealing with the dead. The two cities shared many of the problems and pressures of urban life, including high mortality rates and a tradition of Christian burial and there are many similarities in their responses to death. The treatment of the dead reveals the communities’ preoccupation with the use of space, control of the physical environment and the ordering of society and social behaviour.

Vanessa Harding is Senior Lecturer in London History at Birkbeck, London and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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