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The Lively Place : Mount Auburn, America's First Garden Cemetery, and Its…

af Stephen Kendrick

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2613716,309 (4.29)9
The story of one of the Boston area's most famous attractions, the Mount Auburn Cemetery, and how its founders and "residents" have influenced American culture When Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the dead by offering a peaceful space for contemplation. This cemetery, located not far from Harvard University, was also a place that reflected and instilled an imperative to preserve and protect nature in a rapidly industrializing culture-lessons that would influence the creation of Central Park, the cemetery at Gettysburg, and the National Parks system. Even today this urban wildlife habitat and nationally recognized hotspot for migratory songbirds continues to connect visitors with nature and serves as a model for sustainable landscape practices. Beyond Mount Auburn's prescient focus on conservation, it also reflects the impact of Transcendentalism and the progressive spirit in American life seen in advances in science, art, and religion and in social reform movements. In The Lively Place, Stephen Kendrick celebrates this vital piece of our nation's history, as he tells the story of Mount Auburn's founding, its legacy, and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets, and reformers.… (mere)
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» Se også 9 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 14 (næste | vis alle)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Reading this book was like taking a meandering stroll through Mt Auburn. It is not an academic work--you will not find footnotes and citations--but was clearly well-researched, and well-written. I read this in bits and pieces, just like one would visit a garden cemetery multiple times over the course of a year, discovering something different with every visit. While I worried that a book about a cemetery would be depressing, this work was anything but. ( )
  collsers | Aug 18, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
While visitors to Cambridge, Massachusetts’s Mount Auburn Cemetery appear to be the primary target for this book, it will have a much broader appeal. I have never visited and may never visit this cemetery, yet I gathered a lot of useful knowledge from this reflection on the cemetery’s history and its influence on national thought about death and burial customs. The book is part history, with information about the formation of the cemetery, its dedication, its early historians, its notable (deceased) residents, and its connection to the transcendentalist movement. It is part environmental study, with information about the cemetery’s flora and fauna, its relationship to the movement to create public parks and public spaces, the ongoing efforts to restore parts of the original landscape, and the newly available “green” burial options. This book will appeal to many readers with an interest in American history (especially intellectual and literary history) and genealogists and family historians with an interest in American cemeteries and burial customs. It will also appeal to many readers with an interest in environmental conservation or bird watching. Warmly recommended.

This review is based on a complimentary copy provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program. ( )
  cbl_tn | Jun 27, 2016 |
Kendrick's work is a complex work dealing with several genres of material at the same time. It is a history of Mount Auburn Cemetery located outside of Boston, MA. But it also deals with the landscape design of the cemetery since its creation in 1831 as well as overall cemetery customs and for that fact burial customs since 1831 as well in New England. The work is part guidebook as well as the highlights of the grounds and the changes are worked into the chapters as well. The author also relates the "residents" as he refers to those interned in the cemetery. One of the best features of the work is that he gives dozens of examples of those great literary giants from American Society, and he relates them to each other. Mostly he uses those from the early days like Longfellow and Emerson and the like. He refers to war heroes and gives a good deal of time to subject of the War Between the States and the Abolitionist movement that was so very popular in Boston. Here again he connects the "residents" to each other in ways that many readers might never have known and even brings about that certain poems and songs that were written by the "residents" and how they came to be. The work is for those who would be searching for 19th century burial customs, or interested in those famous "residents" in the appendix the author gives a short list with plots and locations given. The work is illustrated with drawings of the various scenes of Mount Auburn but with all the references to various structures and scenes experienced by the author more illustrations or even photos might have given the reader a better experience. There is no index in the work to assist the reader to locate the passages about the famous "residents" so researchers would have to read the entire book to find those interesting tidbits about the connections and examples of the "residents". The work is of five star quality but due to the above mentioned lacks is the reason for the four star rating. ( )
  Lewie | May 22, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Stephen Kendrick creates an homage to a 'city of the dead' that is truly a living thing. In the acknowledgments he credits Jane Carroll with the vision of "something to explain in a clear and inviting way why this place is important to our larger culture." This is a daunting task when the subject is something that our larger culture chooses to ignore, but he carries it off beautifully.
Divided into the four seasons Kendrick extols the living creatures that inhabit the cemetery: birds, trees, flowers and grasses, etc. They make it the living place it is, even as it is a monument to the dead.
I expected a guide book full of history and photos of the 98,000 inhabitants, some famous and some locally famous. And the book does suffer from the lack of photos. It is easy to find pictures of monuments on findagrave.com, the web site that I am a member of, but I am missing the beautiful grounds and trees and ponds etc. that the describes so vividly.
The language of the text caresses the cemetery, showing the feelings of the author and many others for this beautiful place. It may seem odd to some, but I completely understand. I live near a rural cemetery, modeled after Mount Auburn, in Syracuse and find myself drawn to it in much the same way.
I was hoping for a map or two included in the back of the book but I supposed with the internet that is unimportant. It is also missing an index so I will have to scan the pages for mentions of several names I wish to research.
I recommend this book for anyone suffering a loss for it will comfort you, and for anyone loving nature for it will nurture you. ( )
  book58lover | May 2, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
In “The Lively Place”, author Stephen Kendrick not only looks at the founding of Mount Auburn Cemetery but the changes made there throughout the years. He takes a look at some of the people that have worked there in the past as well as those that work there now. He also talks about some of the people buried there, both well-known and unknown to the general public.

Full confession - for many years I have worked close to Mount Auburn Cemetery (within walking distance really) but I have never been inside. I have always been curious about it, however, so decided to read “The Lively Place” to get some more information about the cemetery.

“The Lively Place” is an interesting book. Kendrick divides the book into the four seasons and offers glimpses into what the cemetery is like during different times of the year. He has a nice, descriptive way of writing so that I felt like I was walking alongside him as he described the cemetery. I am not sure which fascinated me the most - the cemetery grounds themselves, the wildlife living there, the birds, the history of the cemetery, the future of the cemetery, or the stories of the people buried there. In the end, I think my favorite part of the book was the stories of some of the people buried there - several times I put down the book so I could do more research online about the people Kendrick mentions in the book.

For me, “The Lively Place” was not the type of book that is to be read in one setting - I read a little at a time and savored my visit there. Also, after reading the book I signed up for a tour of Mount Auburn Cemetery so I can see it myself :-) ( )
  drebbles | Apr 21, 2016 |
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Dedicated to
CAROLINE LOUGHLIN
Whose love and knowledge of
Mount Auburn's landscape and design
made this book possible
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The story of one of the Boston area's most famous attractions, the Mount Auburn Cemetery, and how its founders and "residents" have influenced American culture When Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the dead by offering a peaceful space for contemplation. This cemetery, located not far from Harvard University, was also a place that reflected and instilled an imperative to preserve and protect nature in a rapidly industrializing culture-lessons that would influence the creation of Central Park, the cemetery at Gettysburg, and the National Parks system. Even today this urban wildlife habitat and nationally recognized hotspot for migratory songbirds continues to connect visitors with nature and serves as a model for sustainable landscape practices. Beyond Mount Auburn's prescient focus on conservation, it also reflects the impact of Transcendentalism and the progressive spirit in American life seen in advances in science, art, and religion and in social reform movements. In The Lively Place, Stephen Kendrick celebrates this vital piece of our nation's history, as he tells the story of Mount Auburn's founding, its legacy, and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets, and reformers.

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