[APG Public List] history of obituaries

jfonkert at aol.com jfonkert at aol.com
Mon Nov 9 10:10:33 MST 2009

In partial answer to my own question, I've come up with two fairly recent books about obituaries.
Janice Hume, Obituaries in American Culture, 2002.
Marilyn Johnson, The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasure of Obituaries, 2006.

I've seen an online preview of the first, and have read a review of the second, and it looks like the Hume book is more the kind of scholarly general history of obituaries that I'm looking for.  Many of us have a good sense of the history (coverage, style, content, etc.) of obituaries in the locales in which we do a lot of research, but I'm hoping someone has done a more general survey of changing obituary practices.
Jay Fonkert, CG
St. Paul, MN

-----Original Message-----
From: jfonkert at aol.com
To: apgmembersonlylist at apgen.org; apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Sent: Mon, Nov 9, 2009 9:06 am
Subject: [APG Public List] history of obituaries

Does anyone know of a scholarly work analyzing the history of American obituaries?  I have seen a review for a book that dealt primarily with obits of well-known people in larger cities, but I am looking for something that deal with obituaries of ordinary people in both big city and small town newspapers.  I'd like to read about when they became common, how styles changed over time and regional differences.  If you can recomend something along these lines, please let me know.  Thanks.
Jay Fonkert, CG
St. Paul, MN

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