||Book Apparently Bound in Human Skin Found
LONDON - A 300-year-old book that appears to be bound in human skin has been found in northern England, police said Saturday.
The macabre discovery was made on a central street in Leeds, and officers said the ledger may have been dumped following a burglary.
Detectives were trying to trace its rightful owner and believe it may have been taken from a dwelling in the area.
Much of the text is in French, and it was not uncommon around the time of the French Revolution for books to be covered in human skin.
The practice, known as anthropodermic bibliopegy, was sometimes used in the 18th and 19th centuries when accounts of murder trials were bound in the killer's skin.
Anatomy books also were sometimes bound in the skin of a dissected cadaver. In World War II, Nazis were accused of using the skin from Holocaust victims to bind books.
In a brief statement, West Yorkshire police said the ledger, which contained handwriting in black ink, appears to date back to the 1700s, and they appealed to anyone who may be able to help identify the owners of the item to contact authorities.
West Yorkshire Police put two photographs of the book on their Web site, but officers were unable on Saturday to answer any questions about it, including the book's subject matter.