The Skin Book was written by highwayman George Walton and dedicated to the only man to best him in combat. While he was a prisoner at Charlestown Penitentiary, Walton wrote a memoir. According to his wishes, after his death, the book was bound in Walton’s own skin and given to the man who defeated him. Today, this example of anthropodermic bibliopegy is a prized possession of the Boston Athenaeum.
The Skin Book
- Read George Walton’s memoir via the Athenaeum.
- An article from the BBC about the wider world of books bound in human skin, including one at Harvard.
- The Anthropodermic Book Project uses science to confirm or debunk alleged skin books.
This Week in Boston History
- September 11, 1765: Historian JL Bell recounts how Boston’s Liberty Tree gets its name.
- September 12, 1964: Beatlemania strikes, as the Fab Four visit Boston for the first time.
- September 13, 1757: John Childs “flies” 700 feet from the steeple of Old North Church, as explained by JL Bell, again.
- September 14, 1716: Boston Light, now America’s oldest light station, was lit for the first time.
- September 15, 1768: Bostonians arm themselves, leading to rumors that they would resist arriving British troops with force.
- September 16, 1774: Paul Revere arrives in Philadelphia to deliver a copy of the Suffolk Resolves, uniting the colonies in support of Massachusetts and its resistance to crown rule.
- September 17, 1852: President Millard Fillmore reviews the Massachusetts militia as the Great Railroad Jubilee opens in Boston.