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April 10, 2006

Macabre Book Found

from The Telegraph:

Book bound in human skin discovered
(Filed: 08/04/2006)

A 300-year-old book bound in human skin has been found in a city centre street, police said today.

The discovery was made in Headrow, Leeds, and officers believe the historic ledger may have been dumped following a burglary.

Detectives were trying to trace its rightful owner and believe it may have been taken from West or North Yorkshire.

Much of the text is in French, and it was not uncommon around the time of the French Revolution for books to be covered in human skin.

The practice, known as anthropodermic bibliopegy, was widely used in the 18th and 19th centuries when accounts of murder trials would be bound in the killer's skin.

Anatomy books were also often bound in the skin of the dissected cadaver.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: "The item is a ledger and dates back to the 1700s.

"It is written in mainly French and is believed to be covered in what is thought to be human skin."

Posted by kstover2 at April 10, 2006 1:10 PM