Monday, January 09, 2006

Quite the heirloom

Here's a Boston Globe article about books bound in human skin. Aaron gets the credit for finding it.
Some excerpts:
The Boston Athenaeum, a private library, has an 1837 copy of George Walton's memoirs bound in his own skin. Walton was a highwayman -- a robber who specialized in ambushing travelers -- and he left the volume to one of his victims, John Fenno. Fenno's daughter gave it to the library.

The Cleveland Public Library has a Quran that may have been bound in the skin of its previous owner, an Arab tribal leader. Pam Eyerdam, head of the library's fine arts and special collections department, said he may have wanted to immortalize himself.

The College of Physicians of Philadelphia has four [medical books] bound by Dr. John Stockton Hough, known for diagnosing the city's first case of trichinosis. He used that patient's skin to bind three of the volumes.
"The hypothesis that I was suggesting is that these physicians did this to honor the people who furthered medical research," Hartman said.

So... if you could have any book bound in your own skin after you died, which book would it be?

1 comment:

DavidS said...

Ick. Ick ick ick ick ick ick. Not to invoke Godwin's Law, but that brings up some seriously bad feelings for those of us of the Jewish faith. For more info, maybe see http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/skin.html

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/040604.html

http://www1.ushmm.org/uia-cgi/uia_doc/query/16?uf=uia_OQTWWG

On the other hand, I'm a big fan of the philosophy of _Stranger in a Strange Land_. It's cool to reduce, reuse and recycle yourself! It's all in your perspective, I guess.