Cemeteries Gravemarkers by Richard Meyer

By Richard Meyer

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I have found an interest to keep me happy for a long time. 11 Page 6 And so have we all, those of us responsible for the book you now hold in your hands. Some sixty years after the publication of Harriette Merrifield Forbes's landmark study, we may say that, like her and those who followed, we have searched for and listened to the voices of American culture in cemeteries across our land, and they have kept us happyand busyfor a long time. And that is as it should be, for if stones indeed are so witty as to speak, should we not have sense enough to hear?

Generally held attitudes about gender roles and the home played a great part in the choices made in representing children who had died. Victorian men, women, and children participated in an assigned social order derived from biological assumptions common to the evolutionary thought of the time. At one end of this spectrum were men. While the Victorian period saw the first real use of female labor in the factory system, and other women left homes to work in city occupations,5 it was men who were perceived as the main players.

3. Nancy F. : Yale University Press, 1978), p. 58. 4. Ann Douglas, The Feminization of American Culture (New York: Avon Books, 1977), p. 240.

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