New book by Alice Roberts and Andrew Copson: The Little Book of Humanist Funerals

The Little Book of Humanist Funerals, by Humanists UK Vice President Alice Roberts and Chief Executive Andrew Copson is out today.

Including quotes and meditations from some of history’s greatest thinkers, and stories from Humanists UK celebrants, The Little Book of Humanist Funerals invites us to begin thinking about mortality, death, dying, and grief. It quotes everyone from Shakespeare to Stephen Fry, Nelson Mandela to Zora Neale Hurston, and Marie Curie to Marcus Aurelius.

The book is the third in the series by Andrew Copson and broadcaster and anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts. It accompanies the Sunday Times bestselling The Little Book of Humanism published in 2020 and The Little Book of Humanist Weddings published in 2021.

Speaking at a recent launch event, Alice Roberts described the book as ‘a lovely companion to the original Little Book of Humanism’. She said:

‘I hope this special little book isn’t just picked up by those organising a humanist funeral – although very useful! There’s so much more in The Little Book of Humanist Funerals about the meaning of life more generally – and mortality and death have to be part of that thinking.’

Humanist funerals, which are non-religious and focus on celebrating the life and legacy of those who have died, have become increasingly popular in recent years. A 2016 YouGov survey suggested that one in seven people in the UK now want to have a humanist funeral when they die. Since 1896, Humanists UK celebrants have worked with families who have lost their loved ones to carry out bespoke ceremonies for non-religious people. The Little Book of Humanist Funerals encapsulates the essence of these ceremonies which have become well-loved for their warmth and inclusive nature.

The book can be purchased with a 10% discount when buying online at Waterstones using the code ‘HUMAN’ (available until 21 June 2023). It can also be ordered from AmazonBlackwell’sHive, and all good bookshops at £12.99 RRP. It is published by Piatkus Books, an imprint of Little, Brown. All author royalties from the book go towards supporting the work of Humanists UK.

Co-author, Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson, said:

‘The book isn’t a “how-to” guide to arranging a funeral but an all-in-one book that will help readers begin to reflect on their own thoughts on death, dying, and grief – questions we so often put on hold! I hope it brings comfort to readers and inspires them to think about death in a way that shapes their lives for the better.’