The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses has gotten rave reviews for being beautifully produced, featuring absolutely stunning photographs and actually giving a legit history lesson to its readers.
Do you see this? This is the relic of Gratianus at the Basilica of Waldsassen (Germany) - one of the many sites featured in this eye-opening study on dialogues with death throughout world History.
Paul Koudounaris photographed over seventy ossuaries and charnel houses for this book.
"He analyzes the role of these remarkable memorials within the cultures that created them, as well as the mythology and folklore that developed around them, and skillfully traces a remarkable human endeavor."
Fans of macabre-and-grandiose imagery should also look into this book on Swiss artist H. R. Giger, who you might remember as the person responsible for the sublime design work on the film Alien.
I'm absolutely floored by the furniture he's designed. FLOORED.
This book offers a comprehensive look at his work from the early 1960s to the late 1990s. I usually keep things classy and never mention prices, but you guys it's only $14.95!