For many centuries people were buried in a winding sheet, also known as a shroud or cerement. This was a long piece of cloth that could either be wrapped around the body or tied at both ends and sewed up along the middle. In Hades Bloom thinks of women laying out corpses and making up beds, two activities that both involve arranging a sheet.

John Hunt 2022


English poet John Donne in his winding sheet, in a post-death 1633 engraving by Martin Droeshout held in the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Source: Wikimedia Commons.