Maxwell Grantly

Magical stories from an independent author

Photographs of the Deceased

Recently I have been researching Victorian photography, in preparation for my latest ebook: Fingers and the Dream Thief.

Inadvertently, I discovered something quite macabre. In Victorian times, it was common for families to take photographs of  family groups, standing with the open coffin of a deceased relative or holding the body of a dead baby. It was seen as a fitting keepsake: something for members of the family to remember their loved ones by. For reasons of sensitivity, I have decided not to include an accompanying photograph with this article but, if you are interested, there are many original Victorian photographs online if you should wish to research this topic further.

It may seem quite ghoulish today, to picture the face of a deceased person. However, at that time, it was seen as a respectful and fitting way of recording a dearly loved one and including him/her in a close family portrait.

Most remarkably, I find it incredible to consider how attitudes of people to bereavement can alter, in just a relatively short period of time.


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