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Time TravelersVictorian Encounters with Time and History$
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Adelene Buckland and Sadiah Qureshi

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226676654

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226676821.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 25 June 2022

Across the Divide

Across the Divide

(p.176) 9 Across the Divide
Time Travelers

David Gange

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the Book of the Dead as it began to preoccupy Victorian writers and thinkers in the late nineteenth century. It argues that, as the traditions of Victorian Protestantism became less secure and authoritative, many commentators began to look to other traditions to explore ideas about the soul and the afterlife, either to challenge Christian ideas or to bolster them. Taking in the "time-travel theme parks" that were Victorian cemeteries, through unfulfilled architectural plans to build a pyramid on Primrose Hill in London, through scholarship and popular accounts of the Book of the Dead, this chapter reveals how the so-called Victorian "cult of death" was itself long dead before 1914 (the date at which it is often said to have expired), and unspools the ways in which mid-Victorian uncertainty about evangelical notions of the afterlife fueled a popular passion for all things Egyptian in the later decades of the century.

Keywords:   ancient Egyptians, Book of the Dead, architecture, Edouard Naville, Thomas Willson, evangelicalism, cult of death, Victorian cemeteries, doubt

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