Helen Nugent

The business of dying: funeral costs soar

It is more than half a century since Jessica Mitford published her landmark work of investigative journalism, The American Way of Death. But her exposé of the specific and often nefarious ways the funeral industry had made the average service more expensive remain pertinent today.

Back in 1963, Mitford, one of the celebrated aristocratic Mitford sisters, reflected on the mortuary’s talent for re-branding — bury became inter, coffins became caskets, morgues became preparation rooms.

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