Best Book Publishers UK | Austin Macauley Publishers

By: Brigitte M. Wareham

Farewell My Beloved, Goodbye Dear Leader

Pages: 198 Ratings:
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The only certainty in life is death. Even the most powerful leaders throughout history were unable to cheat the Grim Reaper. World leaders, whether revered or reviled, are rarely allowed to exit gracefully from life but instead receive a state funeral, a major international event incorporating splendid symbols and messages, religious faith, and tradition.

The body of Tsar Alexander III was carried across half of Russia before finally being buried in St. Petersburg. People paid obscene amounts of money for a room that gave a glimpse of Queen Victoria’s fascinating State funeral. The cortège for China’s Empress-Dowager Cixi was not to be photographed – nevertheless photos showed up a century later. For political reasons Generalissimo Franco’s body was exhumed decades after his death. The world became acquainted with a rather unusual ancient Roman Catholic ritual, when Pope John Paul I died. The body of India’s Indira Gandhi was confined to sacred flames. The last journey of Marshal Tito turned into an event of “Funeral Diplomacy”, whilst Khomeini’s funeral ended in frenzy and tumult. In 2021 the massive restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic meant a rigid downsizing of Prince Philip’s funeral, hardly any guests were allowed to attend.

This revealing and entertaining book provides an insight into unique obsequies from across the world, seen as both a celebration of life and the honouring of death.

Brigitte M. Wareham was born and educated in Austria. She has travelled the world, and lived and worked in different countries in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Her life-long passion for politics and history led to further university studies in preparation for her first book. With her English husband she lives in West Sussex.

Sebastian Schmitz runs his own bookshop in Essen, Germany. His interest in the funerals of world leaders was spurred on by visits to the graves of Tito and Khomeini.

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