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Tod ist ihr Geschäft – Die Ökonomisierung der Beerdigungspraxis im viktorianischen London

Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte
Band 102 / 2015 / Heft 4
S. 421–436
Schlagworte: London, Burial Practices, Urban History, Religion, Micro-Business History JEL-Codes: N33, N83, N93


This paper draws on the company history of London’s Brompton Cemetery to show how burial practices and, more generally, the handling of dead bodies changed during the nineteenth century. We argue that new strategies of dealing with the dead emerged which, in the long run, replaced established patterns: by the mid-19<sup>th</sup> century burial places were managed according to prevailing notions of efficiency, elaborate marketing schemes were implemented, and administrators used an increasingly economic rationale. To take these developments into account, we propose using the term “economization”. In more general terms, we highlight that cemeteries such as Brompton can serve as an indicator of how entrepreneurial action came to permeate new strata of British society.

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