Book bound in skin of hanged murderer

George Cudmore

Not really new news but I just found out about this one just now and I hope you’re still interested.

The book pictured on the right contains the works of English poet John Milton, best known for his epic work Paradise Lost. To the naked eye it appears to be like any other book from the 19th century, however it was discovered that the poetry collection is actually bound in the skin of hanged murderer George Cudmore.

Hung in 1830 for killing his lover, part of Cudmore’s sentence was that his body was to be dissected after he died. A portion of his skin fell into the hands of an Exeter bookseller then later used in the binding of the Milton poetry book. The process is known as anthropodermic bibliopegy, a practice popular during the 18th and 19th centuries.

According to the Daily Mail, the book was recently donated to the Westcountry Studies Library in Exeter.