Closed book

Congregation Knesses Israel Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana

The white marble tombstone above has a closed book carved on it resting on top of a draped square column.  In Victorian times, heavy black drapery was used during funerals.  The use of it here represents mourning. 

The closed book is often a metaphor for the end of life, the story has been told and the end of the story has come.  After the book is complete, and the book is closed, the author lay in the grave.  One of the best written examples of this was written by Benjamin Franklin when he wrote his mock epitaph:

The body of

B. Franklin, Printer

(Like the Cover of an Old Book

Its Contents torn out

And Stript of its Lettering and Gilding)

Lies Here, Food for Worms.

But the Work shall not be Lost:

For it will (as he Believ’d) Appear once more

In a New and More Elegant Edition

Revised and Corrected

By the Author.

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