Centre for Death & Society

Clare Gittings

Visiting Resesarch Fellow, Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Email: c/o cdas@bath.ac.uk
Tel: c/o +44 (0) 1225 386949


Clare Gittings read history at the University of East Anglia and at St Anne’s College, Oxford; her M. Litt. thesis was published as 'Death, Burial and the Individual in Early Modern England' (Croom Helm, 1984).  She taught primary school children for eight years and spent two years as a VSO volunteer, training teachers in the Republic of Maldives.  In 1989 she joined the National Portrait Gallery as Education Officer (now Learning Manager). As well as running the schools programme at the NPG, she has curated exhibitions on such subjects as ideas of beauty through the ages, women and gardens and women travellers.

She contributed catalogue essays to two exhibitions about death at Dulwich Picture Gallery on the Digby family (1995) and on Sir John Soane (1995-6), as well as chapters in various edited volumes on death.  With Peter Jupp she co-edited 'Death in England: an illustrated history' (Manchester University Press, 1999). She is on the editorial board of Mortality and has previously taught on the ‘Death and Society’ MA at the University of Reading (1999-2002) and the MSc Death & Society at the Univeristy of Bath.  She has a particular interest in visual sources for studying the history of death in the early modern period and is current working on unusual eighteenth-century burials.


Gittings, C. and Walter, T., 2010. Rest in peace? Burial on private land. In: Sidaway, J. and Maddrell, A., eds. Deathscapes: Spaces For Death Dying And Bereavement. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Walter, T. and Gittings, C., 2010. What will the neighbours say? Reactions to field and garden burial. In: Hockey, J., Komaromy, C. and Woodthorpe, K., eds. The Matter of Death: Space, Place and Materiality. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 165-177.

Gittings, C. 2009: ‘The art of dying’, in A. Kellehear (ed.) The Study of Dying (Cambridge University Press)

Gittings, C. 2007: ‘Eccentric or enlightened? Unusual burial and commemoration in England, 1689-1823’, Mortality, vol. 12, No 4 pp. 321-349

Gittings, C. 2001: Five entries in G. Howarth and O. Leaman (eds) Encyclopaedia of Death and Dying (London: Routledge)

Gittings, C. 1999: ‘Sacred and secular: 1558-1660’, in P. C. Jupp and C. Gittings (eds) Death in England: an illustrated history (Manchester University Press) pp.147-173

Gittings, C. 1997: ‘Expressions of loss in early seventeenth-century England’, in P. C. Jupp and G. Howarth (eds) The Changing Face of Death: Historical accounts of Dying and disposal  (London: MacMillan,) pp.19-33

Gittings, C. 1997: ‘The hell of living: reflections of death in the diary of Sarah, Lady Cowper, 1700-1716’, Mortality, vol. 2, No 1, 23-41

Gittings, C. 1995: ‘Consolation and condolence on the death of Mrs Soane’, in G. Waterfield (ed) Soane and Death: the tombs and monuments of Sir John Soane (London: Dulwich Picture Gallery) pp.45-51

Gittings, C. 1995: ‘Venetia’s death and Kenelm’s mourning’, in A. Sumner (ed) Death , Power and Politics: Van Dyck’s portraits of Venetia Stanley and George Digby (London: Dulwich Picture Gallery) pp. 54-68

Gittings, C. 1992: ‘Urban funerals in late medieval and Reformation England’, in S. Bassett (ed) Death in Towns: Urban responses to the dying and the dead 100-1600 (Leicester University Press) pp. 170-183

Gittings, C. 1984: Death, Burial and the Individual in Early Modern England (Croom Helm, London).


Gittings, C. 2012: York - 'Royal apotheoses from Queen Elizabeth I to the children of George III'

Gittings, C. 2011: 'Framed: Portraits of the dead in portraits of the living (English and northern European sitters)' DDD10, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Gittings, C. 2010, ‘Framed: Portraits of the dead in portraits of the living’ Conference presentation 'Death, Commemoration and Memory: An Exploration of Representation, Concept and Change', University of Edinburgh

Gittings, C. 2009: 'Buried with his horse? Unusual burial in eighteenth-century England and the creation of folklore stories', DDD9, University of Durham

Gittings, C. 2007: 'Keeping memory alive: John Knill (1733-1811) and the creation of a Cornish death ritual', DDD8, University of Bath

Gittings, C. 2000: 'Dismembering the dead: A Hell-Fire Club heart burial', DDD4, London

Gittings, C. 1997: ' Revenge in a phone box: John Soane's mourning for the death of his wife in 1815' DDD3, University of Cardiff

Gittings, C. 1995: 'One man's grief in seventeenth-century England: the bereavement of Sir Kenelm Digby (plenary)', DDD2, University of Sussex

Gittings, C. 1993: ' Expressions of loss in early seventeenth-century England', DDD1, Oxford

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