Texas Tech University

Making Space for the Dead


Book Description:

Making Space for the Dead unearths a revolution in burial culture that took place in Paris between 1780 and 1830. Before the French Revolution Paris's dead were usually consigned to overcrowded communal graves in churchyards, but by the 1820s Paris boasted some of the most remarkable burial spaces in Europe. The most notable of these were the macabre bone-lined tunnels of the Paris Catacombs and the park-like and serene Père Lachaise Cemetery that overlooked the city. This book argues that we cannot understand the development of Paris's modern burial culture without looking to the French Revolution, which placed “the dead” at the heart of their radical project to remake the social world. 


Author Bio:

Erin-Marie Legacey is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. She is a cultural historian of France with an interest in the French Revolution and its aftermath. After spending a decade working on the history of the dead, she plans to climb out of the catacombs and ascend into the stratosphere with a new project about female aeronauts, daredevils, and adventurers in nineteenth-century France. She holds a PhD  in history from Northwestern University