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Patrick McCarthy <[log in to unmask]>
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Charles Dickens Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 1 Apr 2010 13:08:44 -0700
TEXT/PLAIN (25 lines)
Friends of the Dickens Forum,

	Now here's U.C. Berkeley's Robert Tracy thinking of the "funeral
life-preserver" in terms of what the Victorians were known to do:
   Might it be some service that provided a photo of the deceased in
his/her coffin as a literal /memento mori/? Photographing the dead was quite
common. While we are on the subject, can anyone tell me what a "locomotive
hearse" might be? Scrooge sees one going up his staircase after already
being shaken by Marley's face replacing his door-knocker.

     Robert Tracy <[log in to unmask]>
Catherine Carter had written:
> > 1) Does anyone have a good guess about what a 'funeral life-preserver'
> > might
> >  be? The OED only gives two meanings - a cosh and a lifejacket - and
> >  neither
> >  seems something that one would buy from a tailor.
> I'm not sure one wouldn't buy a life preserver from a tailor if one
were a  member of the gentry.  I don't mean the simple ring but the early
kind  which was a waistcoat or vest with slabs of cork for  buoyancy.