We had this story about a book in the Harvard collection that was thought to be human skin but was really sheepskin.
This one is REALLY bound in human skin! Eww.
Scientists at Harvard have confirmed that a 19th-century French treatise in the university’s libraries is almost surely bound in human skin, thus ending months of uncertainty and setting off a torrent of online Hannibal Lecter (get it?) jokes.
The book, Arsène Houssaye’s “Des destinées de l’ame” (On the Destiny of the Soul), came under renewed attention in April, after researchers concluded that another book at Harvard previously thought to be an example of anthropodermic bibliopegy — as the practice of binding books in human flesh is known — was in fact bound in sheepskin.
Now, it COULD be some other primate but that seems unlikely.
Read all about it from the LawBlog Caveat Lecter Houghton Library Blog.
Houghton’s book is now the only known book at Harvard bound in human skin. It was likely that of a criminal whose body was used after execution. Why someone would want such a ghoulish thing made, I can’t say.