Flynn, Eleanor

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  • Publication
    The relevance of the “death desired” as visualised in fifteenth century Books of Hours to the “good death” of contemporary palliative care
    2014-11 Flynn, Eleanor
    An exploration of the representation of the “Death Desired” in Late Medieval Books of Hours with possible connections to the “Good Death” of modern Palliative Care. The illuminations accompanying the text of the Office of the Dead from fifteenth century French and Flemish Books of Hours depict the role of religious rituals in framing the experience of Late Medieval death where Purgatory was an accepted belief. Late Medieval culture was very visual with the users of Books of Hours able to “read” the prompts to pray for the dead and the demonstration of the appropriate performance of rituals. The use of images to underscore the importance of ritual and the concept of liminality for the dying and the bereaved provides potential discussion points for modern Palliative Care practice.