The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book Memory and the Past Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
“Where did you hear about the Romans,” asked her father.
“Everybody know,” replied Scarlett, with withering scorn.
“There were Celts,” said her mother. “They were here first. They go back before the Romans.
They were the people the Romans conquered.” (2.88-2.90)
Nice. Talk about a quick and dirty history lesson! We love this conversation between five-year-old Scarlett and her parents. Of course, if you’ve barely heard of Celts and Romans, all this might be rather confusing at first. Want to learn more? Check out this website.
“So were you the first to be buried here?” [asked Bod].
[…] “Almost the first,” said Caius Pompeius. “Before the Celts there were other people on this island. One of them was buried here.” (2.102-2.103)
Yep. Caius is talking about the Sleer. According to Caius, what is now the three-headed snake creature, was, thousands of years ago, some kind of person. Take that with the description of the Sleer in Chapter 7, and the novel asks more questions than it answers. For example, if the Sleer was a person at one time, how did it manage to turn into the Sleer?
“Are any of them buried in the graveyard, then?” asked Bod.
“Not a one,” said the girl, with a twinkle. “The Saturday after they drowned and toasted me, a carpet was delivered to Master Porringer, and it was a fine carpet. But it turned out […] it carried the plague in its patter, and by Monday the five of them were coughing blood, and their skins were gone as black as mine when they hauled me from the fire.” (4.81-4.82)
In Chapter 4, Bod meets Liza Hempstock, a witch who’s buried outside the graveyard. Bod and Liza’s conversation is about two sad parts of history – witch burning and the plagues that were sweeping the land at the time, killing lots of people. Do you think Liza really gave her killers the plague, or is she just trying to impress Bod with her extreme witch powers?