A Tomb With a View
Enter a grave new world of fascination and delight as award-winning journalist Peter Ross uncovers the stories and glories of graveyards. Who are London’s outcast dead and why is David Bowie their guardian angel? How did a thousand skulls come to be stacked beneath a church in Kent? Why is the music hall star who sang ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ buried on a hillside in Glasgow far from the sound of the silvery sea? All of these sorrowful mysteries – and many more – are answered in ‘A Tomb with a View’, a book for anyone who has ever wandered through a field of crooked headstones and wondered about the lives and deaths of those who lie beneath.
A FINANCIAL TIMES, I PAPER AND STYLIST BOOK OF THE YEAR
‘In his absorbing book about the lost and the gone, Peter Ross takes us from Flanders Fields to Milltown to Kensal Green, to melancholy islands and surprisingly lively ossuaries . . . a considered and moving book on the timely subject of how the dead are remembered, and how they go on working below the surface of our lives.’ – Hilary Mantel
‘Ross is a wonderfully evocative writer, deftly capturing a sense of place and history, while bringing a deep humanity to his subject. He has written a delightful book.’ – The Guardian
‘The pages burst with life and anecdote while also examining our relationship with remembrance.’ – Financial Times (best travel books of 2020)
‘Among the year’s most surprising “sleeper” successes is A Tomb with a View. In a year with so much death, it may have initially seemed a hard sell, but the author’s humanity has instead acted as a beacon of light in the darkness.’
– The Sunday Times
‘Fascinating . . . Ross makes a likeably idiosyncratic guide and one finishes the book feeling strangely optimistic about the inevitable.’ – The Observer
‘Ross has written [a] lively elegy to Britain’s best burial grounds.’ – Evening Standard (*Best New Books of Autumn 2020*)
‘One of the non-fiction books of the year.’ – The i paper (*2020 Best Books for Christmas*)
‘Brilliant.’ – Stylist (*Best Christmas books for Christmas 2020*)
‘Never has a book about death been so full of life. James Joyce and Charles Dickens would’ve loved it – a book that reveals much gravity in the humour and many stories in the graveyard. It also reveals Peter Ross to be among the best non-fiction writers in the country.’ – Andrew O’Hagan
‘His stories are always a joy.’ – Ian Rankin
‘I’m a card-carrying admirer of Peter Ross.’ – Robert Macfarlane
‘A startling, delight-filled tour of graveyards and the people who love them, dazzlingly told.’ – Denise Mina
‘A phenomenal, lyrical, beautiful book.’ – Frank Turner
‘A walk through the graveyards of Britain guided by one of the most engaging wordsmiths willing to take you by the hand.’ – The Big Issue (*Best Books 2020*)
‘A celebration of life and of love. It confronts our universal fate but tends towards a comforting embrace of mortality. It is also imbued with something deeply moving.’ – The Herald
‘Beautifully written and strangely life affirming.’ – Norman Blake, Teenage Fanclub
For readers of The Salt Path, Mudlarking, Ghostland, Kathleen Jamie and Robert Macfarlane.
Enter a grave new world of fascination and delight as award-winning writer Peter Ross uncovers the stories and glories of graveyards. Who are London’s outcast dead and why is David Bowie their guardian angel? What is the remarkable truth about Phoebe Hessel, who disguised herself as a man to fight alongside her sweetheart, and went on to live in the reigns of five monarchs? Why is a Bristol cemetery the perfect wedding venue for goths?
All of these sorrowful mysteries – and many more – are answered in A Tomb With A View, a book for anyone who has ever wandered through a field of crooked headstones and wondered about the lives and deaths of those who lie beneath.
So push open the rusting gate, push back the ivy, and take a look inside…