Writing about the Last Trump by Susan Eilenberg, Colin Burrow, Mary-Kay Wilmers, John Banville, Roy Porter, Marina Warner, Christopher Ricks and Alan Bennett.

I Don’t Know Whats: Torquato Tasso

Colin Burrow, 22 February 2001

During his imprisonment Tasso had religious dreams in the glorious technicolour of the Counter-Reformation: he heard the Last Trump summon him to hell, and had visions of the Virgin.

Death and the Maiden

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 6 August 1981

Alice James died, not trembling, but, said Katharine Loring, ‘very happy’ in the knowledge that the Last Trump was at hand.

The clockwork universe that Galileo postulated had been in the first place wound up and set going by God, and would continue to work in a wholly predictable, calculable and orderly fashion until the Last Trump should sound.

Esprit de Corps

Roy Porter, 21 January 1988

Sentiment had always run strong throughout society against the desecration of the corpse. Popular piety went in awe of the shades of the departed, while traditional Christian orthodoxy decreed that bones should lie in holy ground awaiting the Last Trump.

Harmoniously Arranged Livers

Marina Warner, 8 June 1995

At the Last Trump, the graves would yield up their dead and all – saints and sinners – would be reunited with their flesh.

Diary: Thoughts of Beckett at News of His Death

Christopher Ricks, 25 January 1990

Beckett was a writer of the greatest reticence but with everything to reveal. Heartfelt. To the last. Not to the Last Trump (in which he blessedly did not believe), but to the last thump.

Diary: Allelujah!

Alan Bennett, 3 January 2019

We hardly notice the railway until in the early afternoon we are in the cloisters and a train sounds its horn, which, echoing round the Gothic arches, sounds like the Last Trump.

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