Sunday, October 29, 2006

Anthrodermic Bindings, or, Shorthand Made Shorter

At his blog Weekend Stubble, Paul Collins directs readers to his fascinating article for the Believer about the murder of Maria Marten in the Red Barn, which led to a Truman Capoteesque flourishing of true-crime writing in nineteenth-century England (and here's the link for the associated NPR story, plus a neat appendix at the Believer that reprints some of the letters sent in response to the murderer's personals ad). NB I may be misremembering--brain like a sieve--but I believe another copy of the narrative bound in the murderer's skin exists in the collection of the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons, I imagine the surgeon in question had a number of copies bound at the same time for presents....

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