Post-mortem

Haunted When It Rains
(“Book of the Dead” Victorian Post-Mortem Photography)

One response to “Post-mortem

  1. A startling and yet tender collection of photographswhich vividly illustrate the depth of grief (and occasional overblown sentimentality) that attended the death of a child in Victorian times.

    Most striking for me was the photograph of the father holding the dead infant. His sorrow is etched onto his face and you can almost see tears in his eyes.

    I do believe, however, that at least one of the children presented is not, in fact, dead. The child in Picture 195 has its eyes open and does not have the clouded eyes one would ordinarily see on a dead body (see the dead child with open eyes in Picture 172). Granted the expression is a little strange, but then again, most people in such old photos tend to look zombified.

    The mother in 195 does not appear grief-stricken as does that in 172; in fact, she almost seems on the verge of a smile.

    Is there documentation or evidence that the child is actually dead?

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