The Spirits of Crossbones Graveyard Hardback

Time, Ritual, and Sexual Commerce in London

by Sondra L Hausner;

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The Spirits of Crossbones Graveyard

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Every month, a ragtag group of Londoners gather in the site known as Crossbones Graveyard to commemorate the souls of medieval prostitutes believed to be buried there the "Winchester Geese," women who were under the protection of the Church but denied Christian burial. In the Borough of Southwark, not far from Shakespeare's Globe, is a pilgrimage site for self-identified misfits, nonconformists, and contemporary sex workers who leave memorials to the outcast dead. Ceremonies combining raucous humor and eclectic spirituality are led by a local playwright, John Constable, also known as John Crow. His interpretation of the history of the site has struck a chord with many who feel alienated in present-day London. Sondra L. Hausner offers a nuanced ethnography of Crossbones that tacks between past and present to look at the historical practices of sex work, the relation of the Church to these professions, and their representation in the present. She draws on anthropological approaches to ritual and time to understand the forms of spiritual healing conveyed by the Crossbones rites. She shows that ritual is a way of creating the present by mobilizing the stories of the past for contemporary purposes."

The Spirits of Crossbones Graveyard by Sondra L Hausner was published by Indiana University Press in July 2016. The ISBN for The Spirits of Crossbones Graveyard is 9780253021243.

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Details for The Spirits of Crossbones Graveyard

Author / Artist
Book FormatHardback
PublisherIndiana University Press (July 2016)
Number of Pages224
Thickness23 mm
Height236 mm
Width157 mm
Product Code4369443
Page last updated 15th September 2018
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