Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses by Bess Lovejoy

Courtesy of Texas Public Radio

Courtesy of Texas Public Radio

I am not one to take reading suggestion from a radio show, but when I heard an interview of this book’s author, Bess Lovejoy on the nationally syndicated Coast to Coast AM with George Noory this book sounded not only quite silly, but also rather interesting. This book tells of the fates of the mortal remains of many of Humanity’s most famous people, often in a light-hearted way.

The book is a very easy read, but still maintains a high level of entertainment. I greatly enjoyed the story of Admiral Nelson’s corpse. After his death at Trafalgar, his body was pickled in rum for its trip back to England, rum that the sailor on his ship often drank from…. Another silly tail is about the numerous attempts by counterfeiters to steal and hold the corpse of Abraham Lincoln hostage. A serious tail is about the burning and dumping in the river if the ashes of Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva Braun. The book covers the fates of people from all walks of life from Galileo to Elvis. This book is a wonderful argument for the idea that in death every man is equal.

The book is very well researched as well as wonderfully written. It’s a treasure trove of arcane and creepy facts about the people who are buried as well as many of the burial practices of the times the people mentioned in this book lived in. I eagerly suggest this book to anyone who is interested in the macabre or for a good dark comedy.


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