AUTHOR and journalist Peter Stanford will show audiences how to read a graveyard, what to look out for in our own, and how even the most initially unpromising exploration can enthral in a forthcoming talk in Basingstoke Discovery Centre.
Peter will reveal how death is the one certainty in life, yet, with the decline of religion in the West, we have become collectively reluctant to talk about it. If we want to know how previous generations dealt with death, graveyards (famous and not) tell us the history – for those who can read them.
If we want to know how we struggle today with understanding or facing up to death, then graveyards provide a starting point. And, if we want to escape the present taboo on acknowledging our mortality and contemplate our own end, then graveyards offer a rare welcome.
From Neolithic mounds to internet memorials via medieval corpse roads and municipal cemeteries, war graves and holocaust memorials, Roman catacombs, Pharaonic grave-robbers, Hammer horrors, body-snatchers, Days of the Dead, humanist burials and flameless cremations, Stanford will present a fascinating travelogue of graveyards and explain how to read our own local cemeteries.
Hear more in the Festival Place library on Thursday, April 3.
Peter Stanford is a writer, broadcaster and biographer, whose books include biographies of Lord Longford, C Day-Lewis, and the Devil and the travelogue, The Extra Mile. A former editor of the Catholic Herald, he writes for The Daily Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday and The Observer and has a regular column in The Tablet.
The talk will begin at 7pm. Tickets cost £5 and are available from Basingstoke Discovery Centre, in Festival Place, or by phone on 01256 478670.