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THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PRESERVED PEOPLE by Natalie Jane Prior

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PRESERVED PEOPLE

Pickled, Frozen, and Mummified Corpses from Around the World

By Natalie Jane Prior

Age Range: 9 - 11

Pub Date: March 11th, 2003
ISBN: 0-375-82287-9
Publisher: Crown

Not so much a research tool as a compelling browsing item, this crowd-pleasing Aussie import features articles, arranged in several alphabetically arranged topics, on famous mummies ancient and modern. It includes techniques of bodily preservation and of its modern study, plus such sidelights as head-shrinking procedures, the ill-fated Franklin Expedition that disappeared into northern Canada in the mid–19th-century, and “Exploding Kings and Queens.” The author relates her tales with “eeewww”-inspiring relish: as Lord Nelson’s body was preserved in a cask of spirits during its final voyage back to England, “ever since, British sailors have called a drink of rum ‘tapping the admiral.’ ” And after murderer William Corder was hanged, “the local hospital got his skeleton, as well as his brain in a bottle, and a leather shop in London got his scalp and one of his ears. Finally, Corder’s skin was tanned like cow-hide and used to bind a book telling the story of his crime.” Prior gathers examples from every continent except Antarctica, and closes with a child-friendly bibliography for readers who must, just must, know more. Though the illustrations are a disappointing scatter of small photos, filler, and artists’ sketches, this is bound to be a popular choice for fans of the icky as well as budding forensic scientists. (index, glossary, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 9-11)