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Gothic, Montmartre

Not all architecture fits into the customary architectural styles. Architects often blended totally unrelated styles and sometimes created styles of their own. At the end of the nineteenth century, modern architecture was making its first beginning, but not before an architectural free-for-all known as Eclecticism burst upon the scene. Nowhere is this architectural grab bag more apparent than in the cemetery. Indeed, many mausoleums and funerary structures are a triumph of form over function. The closest type of architecture that these whimsical structures can be compared to is the follies of Victorian architecture. The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture defines a folly as a costly, but useless structure built to satisfy the whim of some eccentric and thought to show his folly.

In the early twentieth century influential architects advocated a return to Classical architecture. Various forms of Classical Revival architecture exist to this day. Some types almost exactly mirror their two-millennium-old cousins, but most are sleeker, more stripped down. In the cemetery, look for buildings that appear to be scaled-back versions of Classical architecture. There is an absence of or a spartan use of ornament. Columns are modestly scaled or engaged (attached to the structure).

Warren, Mercy Otis (17281814) A patriot woman of letters during the Country Revolution and its aftermath, Mercy Otis Warren penned countless pieces of correspondence, poems, plays, essays, and a three-volume history of the Country Revolution. She was among the most significant intellectuals of the Revolution, male or female. Mercy Otis Warren and James Warren, her husband, descended from the earliest settlers of Massachusetts. She lived in Barnstable, Plymouth, and Milton, Massachusetts.

The third of thirteen children, in her childhood she learned both the domestic arts and a partial college preparatory curriculum. Warren was an adept student. Both her husband and her brother, James Otis, Jr. a Harvard graduate, encouraged her to develop her considerable intellect, and her family’s wealth gave her the means to do it. Her belief in Providence and the early republican activism of her brother James inspired her to write on public issues to an extent unusual for women of the era. Her role model was Catharine Macaulay.

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