THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY: Journeys Among the Dead – Dr Carl Watkins

9780099548584We know what happens to the body when we die, but what happens to the soul? The answer may remain a great unknown, but the question has shaped centuries of tradition, folklore and religious belief.

Carl Watkins

Dr Carl Watkins

In this vivid history of the macabre, Carl Watkins goes in search of the ancient customs, local characters and compelling tales that illuminate how people over the years have come to terms with our ultimate fate. He discovers what a small Norfolk church has to tell us about the apocalypse; why the greatest minds of the seventeenth century were embroiled in debate over the phantom Drummer of Tedworth; and how a nineteenth-century Welsh Druid completely changed the national view of cremation.

The result is an enthralling journey into Britain’s past, from medieval hauntings on the Yorkshire moors and eccentric memorials on the Cornish coast to séances in Victorian kitchens and gallows tales from a Bristol gaol. Impeccably researched and elegantly told, The Undiscovered Country ventures beyond the veil to bring the dead back to life.

29.catacombsDr Carl Watkins carries out research into religious culture in the central and later middle ages and is especially interested in beliefs and concepts of the supernatural in this period. His work encompasses mediaeval religion, from theological change to popular’ beliefs about the afterlife and ghosts, angels and demons, miracles and divine signs.

He is a fellow of Magdalene College where he directs studies in history.

Iain Sinclair review from The Guardian

Peter Stanford review from The Daily Telegraph

Roger Clarke review from The Independent

Theo Tait from The London Review of Books

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