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Daniel O'Brien


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Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Daniel O’Brien is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath. His research focuses on the undertaking trade and their products in eighteenth century England. This has included a detailed analysis of the early trade in the west of England, with a specific focus on the prosperous settlements of Bath, Bristol and Salisbury. His research also seeks to understand how the undertakers and their goods were perceived by society, by analysing how funerals were presented in the popular culture of the period. Drawing upon an eclectic range of source materials has enabled him to consider simple, but often overlooked, questions about how people’s knowledge about the early trade was formed.

Key themes:

  • Undertaking trade in eighteenth century England
  • The reception of the early undertaking trade
  • Death in eighteenth century popular culture
  • Funerals and sociability

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

History, Doctor of Philosophy, The Funeral as an Opportunity for Social Display 1700-1820

Sept 2010Nov 2018

Award Date: 5 Nov 2018

Death and Society, Master in Science, 'What might be the profession of that dismal looking creature?’ - Examining the representation of the undertaking trade in eighteenth century theatre, Centre for Death and Society

Oct 2008Sept 2009

History, Bachelor of Arts, Bath Spa University

Sept 2005Jun 2008


  • D204 Modern History
  • eighteenth century
  • HM Sociology
  • death


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