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Tillyard’s tales

Where should I rest? The Protestant cemetery in Florence could be just the place for me, snuggling up to Elizabeth Barrett Browning

By Stella Tillyard   June 2006

Three years ago, with the East Anglian sky a transparent spring blue, we buried my father and his cardboard coffin in the Rosary cemetery in Norwich. His prudent non-Conformist ancestors bought several plots when the Rosary opened in 1821 as England’s first non-denominational, private cemetery, and put up a tomb in undistinguished Victorian Gothic behind cast-iron railings. Inside the family dead lie on shelves, and in the grass around the tomb are their headstones, inclining slightly to the horizontal, sinking inexorably into the clay. Next to the tomb was an empty plot with a soft grass path, close under the…

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