This remarkable book - the fruit of almost two decades of study - traces in compelling fashion the changes in Western attitudes toward death and dying from the earliest Christian times to the present day. A truly landmark work, The Hour of Our Death reveals a pattern of gradually developing evolutionary stages in our perceptions of life in relation to death, each stage representing a virtual redefinition of human nature.The richness of Aries's source material and investigative work is breathtaking. While exploring everything from churches, religious rituals, and graveyards, to wills and testaments, love letters, literature, and paintings, Aries ranges across Europe to Russia on the one hand and to England and America on the other. As he sorts out the tangled mysteries of our accumulated terrors and beliefs, we come to understand the history - indeed the pathology - of our intellectual and psychological tensions in the face of death.