Memorials

PalmerJo here, talking about marble memorials. I've always been interested in gravestones and the memorial plaques found in churches, not because I'm morbid, but because they often, especially the ones in churches, tell a story about the deceased. A beloved daughter who died young after a lingering illness. I wonder which illness and think that possibly today she would have lived. A son who died in battle far too young — but that's a sadness still with us today.
Maryirving

Memorials play a part in my August book, Seduction in Silk. When my heroine Claris arrives at Perriam Manor she find evidence of the Perriam curse in some poignant memorials.

"A graveled path led along the side of the house, and ahead
stood a dense green hedge.

“Yew?” she guessed, but was puzzled. It was six feet high,
but not very long. “A maze?”

“I wish it were.”

When they passed the hedge, she found it was one of three
walls around a grassed area containing five stone plinths. On each plinth lay a
white marble shape—the shape of a small, sleeping child entirely covered by a
sheet.

No, not sleeping.

“Five?” she said, but then wondered why she’d asked that
particular question.

“There was a daughter, never mentioned.”

She went toward the nearest one and saw the name engraved
on the stone. “Giles Perriam,” with dates. He’d been two months old. On the next, “Giles Perriam.” And on the next. “Was he mad?”

“This isn’t his work, though the naming probably was. The
last boy is Charles because when he was born his older brother still lived,
though not for long. The girl was Beatrice. They are all the children of Giles’s
first wife, Louisa Forbes, and this is her work.”

“Poor, poor lady. Are they actually buried here?”

“No, they lie in the churchyard. I’m told Louisa created
this after the last child died, Giles number three. She followed him the next
year.”

“Heartbroken. But I thought there were two more wives.”

“As soon as it was decent Giles married again. That wife,
Amelia Shaw-Cobham, had the good fortune to be barren but the bad fortune to
succumb to the smallpox. His third wife conceived but never
brought a babe to life. After a series of miscarriages and two stillbirths, she
went mad. She took her own life, here among these memorials, just over a year
ago.”

“More things you didn’t tell me.”

He spread his hands. “I had my own necessities, and none of
this affects you.”

“No? Isn’t the curse supposed to be passed on with the
manor?”

“If you believe in the curse, then believe that our
marriage has appeased your aunt. That’s what your mother promised.”

 Claris opened her mouth but closed it, unable to think
what to say. Her mother had been obsessed. She’d have said anything."

Claris has to deal with many things, including the tragic memorials, and her quest took me to more
Cornewall

about marble memorials at this time. A visit to Westminster Abbey shows her the impressive work of a man called Henry Cheere. One of his most famous is the monument to Captain James Cornewall, richly decorated to reflect his naval career. It impresses her young twin brothers.

The one that impresses her is the memorial to Lady Elizabeth Nightingale, who apparently died of a miscarriage brought on by a lightning bolt. It shows her husband, Sir Joseph, trying to fend off both lightning and fate.
NightIt is by Louis-François Roubiliac, a protogee of Cheere's.

 

The subject affects both Claris and Perry because of the tragedies haunting the manor, but the quality of the work gives Claris an idea. She seeks Sir Henry Cheere's workshop, which is close to the Abbey.

Sir Henry Cheere was a real person (1703–January15, 1781). He was a poor boy made good, rising from an apprentice to become knighted in 1760. You can read more about him here. In the 18th century, there were many examples of people from very ordinary backgrounds rising high with talent, a little help, and hard work.


SedinsilksmSeduction in Silk 
won't be out for a few weeks, but I've just e-published a novella in which Perry plays a small but crucial part. A mother fleeing scandal with her children finds herself homeless on a cold November day. A passing gentleman offers her refuge which she can't refuse, but why is he so secretive, and why does he live in seclusion in a neglected house? When Lily discovers the answers she sees hope for herself and her children, if only she dare fight for it.

You can find out more about Dare to Kiss here.
Dtk22

 I'm at the RWA conference in Atlanta, so I may not be able to get online to join in the comments, but I look forward to hearing whether you are fascinated by gravestones and memorials.

Have you seen any particularly interesting ones?

I'm not sure whether churches in "new world" countries go in for memorials on the walls as much as the older churches over here. Do they?

How would you like to be remembered. I have to say I rather like the benches at scenic viewpoints donated in memory of people.

Jo

55 thoughts on “Memorials”

  1. As I mentioned in am earlier post, I do genealogy. so gravestones are important to me. But long before I got active in genealogy, I have been interested in gravestones and in the stories they carry. I have paid less attention to the insides of churches. I know we sometimes have memorial plaques in our churches; I am less sure of marble memorials.
    Sue

    Reply
  2. As I mentioned in am earlier post, I do genealogy. so gravestones are important to me. But long before I got active in genealogy, I have been interested in gravestones and in the stories they carry. I have paid less attention to the insides of churches. I know we sometimes have memorial plaques in our churches; I am less sure of marble memorials.
    Sue

    Reply
  3. As I mentioned in am earlier post, I do genealogy. so gravestones are important to me. But long before I got active in genealogy, I have been interested in gravestones and in the stories they carry. I have paid less attention to the insides of churches. I know we sometimes have memorial plaques in our churches; I am less sure of marble memorials.
    Sue

    Reply
  4. As I mentioned in am earlier post, I do genealogy. so gravestones are important to me. But long before I got active in genealogy, I have been interested in gravestones and in the stories they carry. I have paid less attention to the insides of churches. I know we sometimes have memorial plaques in our churches; I am less sure of marble memorials.
    Sue

    Reply
  5. As I mentioned in am earlier post, I do genealogy. so gravestones are important to me. But long before I got active in genealogy, I have been interested in gravestones and in the stories they carry. I have paid less attention to the insides of churches. I know we sometimes have memorial plaques in our churches; I am less sure of marble memorials.
    Sue

    Reply
  6. What a splendid post, Jo. I find memorials fascinating for the stories they weave. A while ago I picked up a book of epitaphs for the same reason. They can tell you so much about character.
    How would I like to be remembered? I would like a tree at Ashdown Park with a little bench in the shade underneath it where people could sit peacefully to read or look at the view. That would commemorate two of my greatest loves – Ashdown and writing.

    Reply
  7. What a splendid post, Jo. I find memorials fascinating for the stories they weave. A while ago I picked up a book of epitaphs for the same reason. They can tell you so much about character.
    How would I like to be remembered? I would like a tree at Ashdown Park with a little bench in the shade underneath it where people could sit peacefully to read or look at the view. That would commemorate two of my greatest loves – Ashdown and writing.

    Reply
  8. What a splendid post, Jo. I find memorials fascinating for the stories they weave. A while ago I picked up a book of epitaphs for the same reason. They can tell you so much about character.
    How would I like to be remembered? I would like a tree at Ashdown Park with a little bench in the shade underneath it where people could sit peacefully to read or look at the view. That would commemorate two of my greatest loves – Ashdown and writing.

    Reply
  9. What a splendid post, Jo. I find memorials fascinating for the stories they weave. A while ago I picked up a book of epitaphs for the same reason. They can tell you so much about character.
    How would I like to be remembered? I would like a tree at Ashdown Park with a little bench in the shade underneath it where people could sit peacefully to read or look at the view. That would commemorate two of my greatest loves – Ashdown and writing.

    Reply
  10. What a splendid post, Jo. I find memorials fascinating for the stories they weave. A while ago I picked up a book of epitaphs for the same reason. They can tell you so much about character.
    How would I like to be remembered? I would like a tree at Ashdown Park with a little bench in the shade underneath it where people could sit peacefully to read or look at the view. That would commemorate two of my greatest loves – Ashdown and writing.

    Reply
  11. Terrific post, Jo. I find cemeteries and headstones fascinating — there are so many stories there, and sometimes I find myself moved to tears, just by the names and the dates and the story revealed.
    I remember many years ago, traveling in Tasmania and hearing the story of a man who’d come out in the colonial era and cleared land, established a large farm and build a lovely house on a hill looking out to sea. He then sent for his wife and kids — I think from memory there were seven or eight children. But a storm came and their ship was smashed on the rocks — right in front of the house — and they were all lost. We saw the headstone the next day, with the wife and all the children listed by name and age. So tragic. I seem to recall he never lived in the house after that. I suspect it’s not even a particularly unusual story — there were so many shipwrecks and so many people lost.
    As for bigger, more elaborate memorials, I used to love them, and then there came that episode of Dr Who with the stone angels and I blush to confess it, but I now find stone angels ever so slightly sinister. 🙂

    Reply
  12. Terrific post, Jo. I find cemeteries and headstones fascinating — there are so many stories there, and sometimes I find myself moved to tears, just by the names and the dates and the story revealed.
    I remember many years ago, traveling in Tasmania and hearing the story of a man who’d come out in the colonial era and cleared land, established a large farm and build a lovely house on a hill looking out to sea. He then sent for his wife and kids — I think from memory there were seven or eight children. But a storm came and their ship was smashed on the rocks — right in front of the house — and they were all lost. We saw the headstone the next day, with the wife and all the children listed by name and age. So tragic. I seem to recall he never lived in the house after that. I suspect it’s not even a particularly unusual story — there were so many shipwrecks and so many people lost.
    As for bigger, more elaborate memorials, I used to love them, and then there came that episode of Dr Who with the stone angels and I blush to confess it, but I now find stone angels ever so slightly sinister. 🙂

    Reply
  13. Terrific post, Jo. I find cemeteries and headstones fascinating — there are so many stories there, and sometimes I find myself moved to tears, just by the names and the dates and the story revealed.
    I remember many years ago, traveling in Tasmania and hearing the story of a man who’d come out in the colonial era and cleared land, established a large farm and build a lovely house on a hill looking out to sea. He then sent for his wife and kids — I think from memory there were seven or eight children. But a storm came and their ship was smashed on the rocks — right in front of the house — and they were all lost. We saw the headstone the next day, with the wife and all the children listed by name and age. So tragic. I seem to recall he never lived in the house after that. I suspect it’s not even a particularly unusual story — there were so many shipwrecks and so many people lost.
    As for bigger, more elaborate memorials, I used to love them, and then there came that episode of Dr Who with the stone angels and I blush to confess it, but I now find stone angels ever so slightly sinister. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Terrific post, Jo. I find cemeteries and headstones fascinating — there are so many stories there, and sometimes I find myself moved to tears, just by the names and the dates and the story revealed.
    I remember many years ago, traveling in Tasmania and hearing the story of a man who’d come out in the colonial era and cleared land, established a large farm and build a lovely house on a hill looking out to sea. He then sent for his wife and kids — I think from memory there were seven or eight children. But a storm came and their ship was smashed on the rocks — right in front of the house — and they were all lost. We saw the headstone the next day, with the wife and all the children listed by name and age. So tragic. I seem to recall he never lived in the house after that. I suspect it’s not even a particularly unusual story — there were so many shipwrecks and so many people lost.
    As for bigger, more elaborate memorials, I used to love them, and then there came that episode of Dr Who with the stone angels and I blush to confess it, but I now find stone angels ever so slightly sinister. 🙂

    Reply
  15. Terrific post, Jo. I find cemeteries and headstones fascinating — there are so many stories there, and sometimes I find myself moved to tears, just by the names and the dates and the story revealed.
    I remember many years ago, traveling in Tasmania and hearing the story of a man who’d come out in the colonial era and cleared land, established a large farm and build a lovely house on a hill looking out to sea. He then sent for his wife and kids — I think from memory there were seven or eight children. But a storm came and their ship was smashed on the rocks — right in front of the house — and they were all lost. We saw the headstone the next day, with the wife and all the children listed by name and age. So tragic. I seem to recall he never lived in the house after that. I suspect it’s not even a particularly unusual story — there were so many shipwrecks and so many people lost.
    As for bigger, more elaborate memorials, I used to love them, and then there came that episode of Dr Who with the stone angels and I blush to confess it, but I now find stone angels ever so slightly sinister. 🙂

    Reply
  16. Years ago I went to a small exhibit about memorials in the lobby of a New York office building. I’ll never forget the one from the headstone of a wife who died too young (in her 20s, IIRC): “I know my tears will not bring her back, therefore I weep.”

    Reply
  17. Years ago I went to a small exhibit about memorials in the lobby of a New York office building. I’ll never forget the one from the headstone of a wife who died too young (in her 20s, IIRC): “I know my tears will not bring her back, therefore I weep.”

    Reply
  18. Years ago I went to a small exhibit about memorials in the lobby of a New York office building. I’ll never forget the one from the headstone of a wife who died too young (in her 20s, IIRC): “I know my tears will not bring her back, therefore I weep.”

    Reply
  19. Years ago I went to a small exhibit about memorials in the lobby of a New York office building. I’ll never forget the one from the headstone of a wife who died too young (in her 20s, IIRC): “I know my tears will not bring her back, therefore I weep.”

    Reply
  20. Years ago I went to a small exhibit about memorials in the lobby of a New York office building. I’ll never forget the one from the headstone of a wife who died too young (in her 20s, IIRC): “I know my tears will not bring her back, therefore I weep.”

    Reply
  21. I think the loveliest and most impressive cemetery that I have visited is the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. Keats and Shelley are buried there,as well as many non-Catholics who died in Rome in the 18th and 19th century and could not be buried in a Catholic cemetery.
    Keats’ grave and several memorials to him are off to one side so you can sit there with your flowers and share the experience with several feral cats who are well behaved and seem to be mourning Keats too.

    Reply
  22. I think the loveliest and most impressive cemetery that I have visited is the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. Keats and Shelley are buried there,as well as many non-Catholics who died in Rome in the 18th and 19th century and could not be buried in a Catholic cemetery.
    Keats’ grave and several memorials to him are off to one side so you can sit there with your flowers and share the experience with several feral cats who are well behaved and seem to be mourning Keats too.

    Reply
  23. I think the loveliest and most impressive cemetery that I have visited is the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. Keats and Shelley are buried there,as well as many non-Catholics who died in Rome in the 18th and 19th century and could not be buried in a Catholic cemetery.
    Keats’ grave and several memorials to him are off to one side so you can sit there with your flowers and share the experience with several feral cats who are well behaved and seem to be mourning Keats too.

    Reply
  24. I think the loveliest and most impressive cemetery that I have visited is the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. Keats and Shelley are buried there,as well as many non-Catholics who died in Rome in the 18th and 19th century and could not be buried in a Catholic cemetery.
    Keats’ grave and several memorials to him are off to one side so you can sit there with your flowers and share the experience with several feral cats who are well behaved and seem to be mourning Keats too.

    Reply
  25. I think the loveliest and most impressive cemetery that I have visited is the Protestant Cemetery in Rome. Keats and Shelley are buried there,as well as many non-Catholics who died in Rome in the 18th and 19th century and could not be buried in a Catholic cemetery.
    Keats’ grave and several memorials to him are off to one side so you can sit there with your flowers and share the experience with several feral cats who are well behaved and seem to be mourning Keats too.

    Reply
  26. The few cemeteries I saw growing up in the West are simply affairs by and large. It was only when I got to the East Coast that I saw elaborate carved memorials and flowery tributes to the dead. I’ve always wondered who decided on the memorial–the deceased, a loving wife or a desolate husband, the children…
    As for a memorial, I have always wanted a stained glass window which is silly since the church I attend neither needs nor would want such a memorial. (it is a historic church that has been lovingly conserved.) What I would like since that isn’t a viable idea is a bunch of bush roses planted around a pond in a specific park. The pond is surround by has cherry trees that bloom in the spring just like the Tidal Basin in nearby Washington, D.C. and another type of shrub that starts blooming in mid-July. In between spring and mid-summer there’s only green.
    I just finished Dare To Kiss, what an appropriate title for the story. It fits the heroine on two different levels.

    Reply
  27. The few cemeteries I saw growing up in the West are simply affairs by and large. It was only when I got to the East Coast that I saw elaborate carved memorials and flowery tributes to the dead. I’ve always wondered who decided on the memorial–the deceased, a loving wife or a desolate husband, the children…
    As for a memorial, I have always wanted a stained glass window which is silly since the church I attend neither needs nor would want such a memorial. (it is a historic church that has been lovingly conserved.) What I would like since that isn’t a viable idea is a bunch of bush roses planted around a pond in a specific park. The pond is surround by has cherry trees that bloom in the spring just like the Tidal Basin in nearby Washington, D.C. and another type of shrub that starts blooming in mid-July. In between spring and mid-summer there’s only green.
    I just finished Dare To Kiss, what an appropriate title for the story. It fits the heroine on two different levels.

    Reply
  28. The few cemeteries I saw growing up in the West are simply affairs by and large. It was only when I got to the East Coast that I saw elaborate carved memorials and flowery tributes to the dead. I’ve always wondered who decided on the memorial–the deceased, a loving wife or a desolate husband, the children…
    As for a memorial, I have always wanted a stained glass window which is silly since the church I attend neither needs nor would want such a memorial. (it is a historic church that has been lovingly conserved.) What I would like since that isn’t a viable idea is a bunch of bush roses planted around a pond in a specific park. The pond is surround by has cherry trees that bloom in the spring just like the Tidal Basin in nearby Washington, D.C. and another type of shrub that starts blooming in mid-July. In between spring and mid-summer there’s only green.
    I just finished Dare To Kiss, what an appropriate title for the story. It fits the heroine on two different levels.

    Reply
  29. The few cemeteries I saw growing up in the West are simply affairs by and large. It was only when I got to the East Coast that I saw elaborate carved memorials and flowery tributes to the dead. I’ve always wondered who decided on the memorial–the deceased, a loving wife or a desolate husband, the children…
    As for a memorial, I have always wanted a stained glass window which is silly since the church I attend neither needs nor would want such a memorial. (it is a historic church that has been lovingly conserved.) What I would like since that isn’t a viable idea is a bunch of bush roses planted around a pond in a specific park. The pond is surround by has cherry trees that bloom in the spring just like the Tidal Basin in nearby Washington, D.C. and another type of shrub that starts blooming in mid-July. In between spring and mid-summer there’s only green.
    I just finished Dare To Kiss, what an appropriate title for the story. It fits the heroine on two different levels.

    Reply
  30. The few cemeteries I saw growing up in the West are simply affairs by and large. It was only when I got to the East Coast that I saw elaborate carved memorials and flowery tributes to the dead. I’ve always wondered who decided on the memorial–the deceased, a loving wife or a desolate husband, the children…
    As for a memorial, I have always wanted a stained glass window which is silly since the church I attend neither needs nor would want such a memorial. (it is a historic church that has been lovingly conserved.) What I would like since that isn’t a viable idea is a bunch of bush roses planted around a pond in a specific park. The pond is surround by has cherry trees that bloom in the spring just like the Tidal Basin in nearby Washington, D.C. and another type of shrub that starts blooming in mid-July. In between spring and mid-summer there’s only green.
    I just finished Dare To Kiss, what an appropriate title for the story. It fits the heroine on two different levels.

    Reply
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