I remember, vaguely, my former 18th century lit prof talking about the extreme practices surrounding public consumption of murder and execution accounts . . .
if we think people get obsessed about high-profile murder trials these days . . .! Source: BBC News Online

Police plea on macabre book find

Police are trying to locate the owner of a 300-year-old ledger, bound in human skin, found in a Leeds road.

The ledger was bound in human skin, in accordance with practice
Police are trying to locate the owner of a 300-year-old ledger, bound in human skin, found in a Leeds road.

Written mainly in French, its macabre covering was said to be a regular sight during the French Revolution.

In the 18th and 19th Centuries it was common to bind accounts of murder trials in the killer’s skin – known as anthropodermic bibliopegy.

The book was discovered in The Headrow and may have been discarded after a burglary, detectives said.

They said the book may have been stolen in West or North Yorkshire. They are appealing to anyone who may have information, or who may have owned the ledger, to contact them.

Many older libraries have examples of anthropodermic bibliopegy in their collection.

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