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Magnificent Corpses:
Searching Through Europe for St. Peter's Head, St. Claire's Heart, St. Stephen's Hand, and Other Saints' Relics

by Anneli Rufus

ISBN 1569246874 / 9781569246870 / 1-56924-687-4
Publisher Da Capo Press
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

Travel with Anneli Rufus as she visits St. Anthony's jawbone, shriveled tongue, and vocal cords. Critically acclaimed author Rufus weaves a hair-raising travelogue out of 28 visits to garlanded skulls, disembodied hands, and fully clad mummies in towns and villages across Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Denmark, England, and France. Each tale is a literary gem as well as a wonderment of miracles attributed to the living saints and their corporeal remains. Known as an impassioned preacher and miracle maker during his life, after his death in 1231 his tomb was repeatedly reopened for relics. At one point, his tongue was reported to still be living and was placed on display. In 1981, his vocal cords were found still fresh! Incredible reports like these and the high quality of Rufus's narrative craftsmanship win Magnificent Corpses my vote for the most entertaining metaphysical read of the summer. --Randall Cohan [via]