Not Buried Alive

Half a dozen precautions against premature burial:

“The novelist Wilkie Collins always left a letter on his dressing-table adjuring anyone finding him dead to call a doctor and make certain, Harriet Martineau left her doctor ten pounds to see that her head was amputated before burial, the actress Ada Cavendish willed that her jugular vein be cut before interment, and the journalist Edmund Yates did likewise, providing twenty guineas as a fee for the officiating surgeon. Lady Burton provided for her heart to be pierced with a needle, while Meyerbeer arranged to have bells tied to his extremities when he was dead.”

Ronald Pearsall, The Table-Rappers (1972)

One thought on “Not Buried Alive

  1. i used a chain story as a language game in one of my classes – first sentence “he came to Ultima Thule to teach English”, last sentence “he was buried in Moscow in July”. Each student added a sentence for about five minutes. It culminated with our hero being run over by a car, then as he was lying in the road, crushed by a truck, then being buried alive.

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