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Paradise Lost

The book that is bound to horrify: 160-year-old poetry volume is covered in skin of hanged murderer.....

It contains the works of Paradise Lost poet John Milton and to the naked eye appears to be like any other book from the 19th century.

But a closer inspection of this 1852 edition of The Poetical Works will reveal a macabre discovery - it is bound with human skin .

Executed murderer George Cudmore's body was stripped of its flesh shortly after he was hanged for killing his lover.

Cudmore, a rat catcher by trade, poisoned Sarah Dunn with a potion of roasted apple and milk, laced with arsenic.

He was tried and sentenced to death in March 1830, in front of a thousand-strong crowd in Exeter, Devon.

Cudmore's body was then sent to the Devon and Exeter Hospital for dissection and a portion of his skin fell into the hands of a Mr W Clifford, an Exeter bookseller.

librarian Tony Rouse said: 'It is certainly an unusual and grisly thing, but if it weren't for the description, it would be difficult to discern its past.

'There is no hair or stray nipple or anything like that. It is outwardly unremarkable but a closer inspection reveals it to be a surprising artifact.' 

Milton was a 17th century English poet, best known for his epic work Paradise Lost.

It was something unique to capture - so I took the oppertunity - On to the images.......

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