Anthropodermic bindings

This book, part of the Harvard library system collection, is believed to be bound in human skin.

The inscription reads:

The bynding of this booke is all that remains of my deare friende Jonas Wright, who was flayed alive by the Wavuma on the Fourth Day of August, 1632. King btesa did give me the book, it being one of poore Jonas chiefe possessions, together with ample of his skin to bynd it. Requiescat in pace.

According to The Record:

The use of human skin as a medium may be as old as human history itself — the flaying of defeated enemies or prisoners and the use/abuse of their skin dates back to ancient and perhaps even prehistoric times. The ancient Assyrians, in particular, were known for flaying their captives alive and displaying the skins on city walls. Legends and folk tales unavoidably contaminate the factual history of human skin use; books or parchments made of human skin are rumored to have been created as early as the middle ages, when the tanning of human skin (and preservation of other body parts) became something of a fad. While their credibility is questionable, there are some historical reports of a 13th century bible and a text of the Decretals (Catholic canon law) written on human skin.

(Via The Literary Saloon.)

You know what? I don’t think I want this sandwich anymore. Anybody hungry?


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