Chapter One is an exploration of mourning and posthumous paintings, the immediate precursors to corpse photography. These forms of painting established the social and pictorial conventions that photography emulated in the nineteenth century.
Chapter Two is a chronological analytic description of post-mortem and funeral photography.
Chapter Three deals with photographs as objects of memorialization. It explores photographic tombstones and funeral cards.
The concluding chapter is a social analysis of the geographical and cultural distribution, motivation and uses of these images.