This is a most intriguing book about the conservation of the dead - and if you’re now thinking “Egyptian Mummies” then stop right there, for mummification has been going on all over the world, right throughout history and it cannot be excluded that someone somewhere is being mummified even as you read these words.
Heather Pringle opens the doors to a world most of us would choose to avoid for as long as possible: the world of the dead. From putrefaction, to embalming with all the State pomp and parade, to accidental mummification. From the emptying out of Tutankhamen to keeping Lenin rosy and fresh in a glass box for decades: it’s all here – and never macabre.
Written in the best style of a village gossip who lets you in on the tiny little secrets that you never thought you’d want to know but that very quickly become addictive, the book is a real page turner. It’s even illustrated, though I quietly snipped the photos out of my copy when the image of a little blue-eyed girl in fairly modern dress started to haunt me unceasingly: she’s a mummy too.