Friday Reads: Carved in Stone

“Friday Reads” is a weekly blog written by reference librarian Faith Lee about great books, magazines, and the occasional reference work.    Blogs may be about new titles added to the library, selections from the Staff Picks shelf or about something she recently read.  Admittedly, there is a definite slant toward nonfiction, because, well, she’s a reference librarian and likes to learn new things.  Guest bloggers take a turn sometimes too.  No matter the source, good reads are featured here. 


During the course of a day’s work, combing through the stacks of books, I came across this beautiful catalog of early New England gravestones.  Carved in Stone by Thomas E. Gilson and William Gilson features high quality, close-up black and white photographs of over 80 gravestones with quotations by early New England writers and captions with practical information.  This book will be of interest to anyone who studies New England genealogy, early American art, history and those who seek solace in an old cemetery.  The inner flap states:  “These stones tell of death at sea, epidemics such as smallpox, the loss of children, and a grim view of the afterlife.  The graceful narrative explores a long personal involvement with the stones and their place in the New England landscape, and attempts to trace the curious and imperfectly documented history of the gravestone carvers.”

A list of plates in the back of the book indicates where the gravestones are located, (almost all are in Massachusetts, with many in Plymouth) and a short bibliography provides ideas for further reading.

You can find this book on the staff picks shelf.

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