Death in 1901 required elaborate funeral arrangements, a large array of mourning attire and tombstones which gave ostentatious representation of the family's status. This was even more the case in this year, the year of the Queen's death.
The two graves stood next to each other, both beautifully decorated. One had a large urn - some might say ridiculously large - and the other, almost leaning over the first, an angel - some might say overly sentimental.
The two families visiting the cemetery to view their respective neighbouring graves were divided even more by social class than by taste. They would certainly never have become acquainted had not their two girls, meeting behind the tombstones, become best friends. And furthermore - and even more unsuitably - become involved in the life of the gravedigger's muddied son.
So as the girls grow up, as the century wears on, as the new era and the new King change social customs, the lives and fortunes of the Colemans and the Waterhouses become more and more closely intertwined - neighbours in life as well as death.