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Portsmouth Cemeteries

Author lectures to a group at Point of Graves in Portsmouth, NH /

What better way to welcome October than with a new book about gravestones? Portsmouth’s Arcardia Publishing, among the fastest growing publishers in the world, has released a new photo volume focused on the city’s historic cemeteries. These tombs are endangered and the more we learn about them, the better they can be preserved.



SEE OUR Portsmouth Cemetery Quick Guide

I don’t know about you, but I needed this book. As a person who writes almost exclusively about the dead, it is important to know where your characters live. The best thing about "Portsmouth Cemeteries" is that author Glenn Knoblock knows his stuff. So this is more than just a photo essay of historic tombstones. This is a short course in the iconography of the stone carver trade.

Portsmouth CemeteriesAs these precious markers slowly (and sometimes rapidly) erode due to wind, water, temperature, sun and creepy-crawly plants, we are losing the data inscribed on them. This photo record – and graven images reprint very well in black and white – helps. Simply paying attention to these stones, through books and the recent seasons of on-site lectures, helps publicize how endangered these death records are, both from weather and from vandals.

While Arcadia books are short on text, Knoblock has kindly included a short essay at the opening of all six photo chapters. He takes on each of the city’s six major cemeteries and dedicates space to smaller cemeteries, gravestone art and the carvers themselves. Unfortunately the publisher’s formula does not allow for more analysis and detail. Only three or four portraits of people are included. W could have used more of them. But a number of newspaper ads and articles are helpful in explaining the American way of death in Portsmouth in its first three centuries. -- JDR

$19.99 paperback
128 pages
Images of America Series
Arcadia Publishing.

VISIT: Our online cemetery listing
OUTSIDE LINK: A Very Grave Matter

Publisher’s Summary:
Portsmouth Cemeteries, a photographic study of this city’s cemeteries, uncovers a compelling history of the area from the Colonial era to the 1900s. These cemeteries provide a direct link to the past, where many stories are told in stone. The gravestones and monuments feature unusual works of art, and the inscriptions act as documents that preserve family histories, valiant military service, and memories of those lost at sea. Through the author’s collection of photographs, readers can see how gravestones evolved over time and learn about some of Portsmouth’s own practitioners in the art of stone carving.

About the Author
Historian Glenn A. Knoblock is the author of seven previous books, including Arcadia Publishing’s Historic Burial Grounds of the New Hampshire Seacoast (1999). He has given numerous lectures and walking tours in Portsmouth cemeteries and is an ex-officio member of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Cemetery Committee.

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Sunday, December 17, 2017 
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