C’mon Internet, what did we say about judging books by their covers? This is why we can’t have nice things.
After a 2006 myth about books bound, Ed Gein-like, in human flesh lying in the Harvard stacks resurfaced yesterday, Boston Magazine took it upon themselves to crush a nation of gore-hungry Redditors with the truth – the book is actually bound in sheep skin.
The myth stems from a grisly (and not-so-esoteric) dedication in the front of the book, which reads:
The bynding of this booke is all that remains of my dear friende Jonas Wright, who was flayed alive by the Wavuma on the Fourth Day of August, 1632. King Mbesa did give me the book, it being one of poore Jonas chiefe possessions, together with ample of his skin to bynd it. Requiescat in pace.
Despite this fairly clear evidence that the book’s exterior was indeed made from the ass and elbow of Mr. Wright, conservation scientist Daniel Kirby was able to distinguish the true nature of the skin using peptide mass fingerprinting (a.k.a. mother-lovin’ SCIENCE). Turns out the creepy tome is just wearing an out-dated condom. Drat.
However, “Hannibal” enthusiasts shouldn’t be so discouraged. As the Boston article notes, there are still two more books in Harvard’s collection rumored to be sheared from the flesh of man. Let the conspiracy theories wriggle on.