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The Dead Skin Scrolls

Updated on January 10, 2015

Anthropodermic Bibliopegy

This is the practice of binding books with human skin.

This practice was common in the 16th and 17th centuries. The first known book to be covered in human skin was a French Bible from the 13th century.

The practice of anthropodermic bibliopegy was very common during the French Revolution.

I have this inward thought that this practice could make a comeback. The next time you go to the library, will you search for books covered in human skin?

Harvard

The news has come out that the library at Harvard University discovered that 3 books in their collection are actually covered with human skin.

It is quite an oddity that this is just now being discovered, but the fact is, human skin has a leather look and feel.

How many more books will be discovered to have human skin?

At the right is the history behind this practice.

Below are books that have been found to be bound in human skin.

This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923
This media file is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923 | Source
Source

1606

The title of this book is: A True and Perfect Relation of the Whole Proceedings Against the Late Most Barbarous Traitors

The skin donor was the man pictured. His name was Father Henry Garnet.

If you look very close at the book, a very spooky thing is evident; it looks as if Father Garnet's face is on the front of it.

The book is about a group of Catholic revolutionaries from England who planned on killing King James I and much of his Protestant government. They planned on setting off a gunpowder bomb. The plan didn't work and they were all captured.and executed. Father Garnet was the leader of the Jesuits in England.

The cover reads: "graves poenas poenitentiae carnis," which means "severe penitence punished the flesh."

Source

1632

The title of this book is: Practicarum Quaestionum Circa Leges Regias Hispaniae

The skin donor for this book was one Jonas Wright.

This book is at the law library of Harvard University. The book is text of Spanish Laws.

The book was a possession of Jonas Wright who was in Africa. He was killed by an African tribe called the Wavuma. A King Btesa gave the book and some of Jonas' skin to his friend.

All the above paragraph is written in the back of the book along with: "Requiescat in pace."

Yes, Rest In Peace Jonas.

Poet Skin

The French Poet, Jacques Delille had translated Virgil’s Georgics which was considered a wonderful work of translation.

It was so well done that when Delille died, someone stole some of his skin to cover his personal translation of the book.

This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less
This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less | Source

1818

The great writer Samuel Johnson authored a complete dictionary of the English language. It was published in 1755 and was the best dictionary in those days.

Norwich, Connecticut had a cunning criminal who was caught and hung. His name was James Johnson. He was not a relative of Samuel, but someone had something for James' skin. Some of it was taken and used to bind a copy of the famous dictionary.

Source

1828

William Corder was a local man from Polstead, Suffolk, England.

William met a young woman named Maria Marten and impregnated her. In those days, it was very bad to have a child out of wedlock. William and Maria planned to meet at the old red barn and elope. Corder had different thoughts. He shot and killed Maria.

The authorities captured Corder. He was tried and found guilty and sentenced to die by execution. The crime became so famous that a surgeon by the name of George Creed decided to take Corder's skin and bind the account of the murder and trial.

This book became news some years back with the claims it was growing hair.

1972

Here is where the covering of a book with human skin gets more crazy.

A book with erotic poetry in Spanish was found at Slippery Rock University’s Bailey Library. The book was written in 1972, and covered in human skin.

Inside the cover you can read, "The cover of this book is made from the leather of the human skin, The Aguadilla tribe of the Mayaguez Plateau region preserves the torso epidermal layer of deceased tribal members. While most of the leather is put to utilitarian use by the Aguadillas, some finds its way to commercial trade markets where there is a small but steady demand. This cover is representative of that demand."

All of this tells me this book is from Puerto Rico.

It makes me wonder if someone will try to cover any of my published books with human skin....hmmm???

Conclusion

This is just a brief list of the dead skin scrolls.

Do you think you could stomach reading a book that you know is covered in human skin?

Just a little on the crazy side in my opinion.

Please don't cover any of my published books with my skin enemies, friends, and family.

Thank you.

Could You?

Could you handle reading a book you know is covered in human skin?

See results

© 2014 Greg Boudonck

Comments

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    • Froggy213 profile imageAUTHOR

      Greg Boudonck 

      4 years ago from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      It always brings a smile to my face when someone discovers something new. I am glad you learned. Thanks for visiting.

    • NateB11 profile image

      Nathan Bernardo 

      4 years ago from California, United States of America

      That is fascinating. I had no idea such a thing even existed, and I'm amazed there is trading in human skin. Learn something new every day.

    • Froggy213 profile imageAUTHOR

      Greg Boudonck 

      4 years ago from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      Thank you. Do you have any of these books Maggie?

    • profile image

      Maggie 

      4 years ago

      Very good job!

    • Froggy213 profile imageAUTHOR

      Greg Boudonck 

      4 years ago from Returned to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      Thanks Edward.

    • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

      Ed Palumbo 

      4 years ago from Tualatin, OR

      I found this information interesting. Out of respect for the deceased (any deceased) I think I would refrain from handling a book I knew was covered with human skin.

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