October 12, 2010

SCAREFEST Review: Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius

The after-death stories of Franz Joseph Haydn, Ludwig Beethoven, Swedenborg, Sir Thomas Browne and many others have never before been told in such detail and vividness.

Fully illustrated with some surprising images, this is a fascinating and authoritative history of ideas carried along on the guilty pleasures of an anthology of real-after-life gothic tales.

Beginning dramatically with the opening of Haydn’s grave in October 1820, cranioklepty takes us on an extraordinary history of a peculiar kind of obsession. The desire to own the skulls of the famous, for study, for sale, for public (and private) display, seems to be instinctual and irresistible in some people.  The rise of phrenology at the beginning of the 19th century only fed that fascination with the belief that genius leaves its mark on the very shape of the head. 
From Unbridled Books

I never really thought much about the skulls of people who were incredibly smart but after reading this book, I must admit that I find the subject intriguing.  I'm not saying I'm going to go searching for some skulls to keep in my basement, but I enjoyed reading Colin's book.  It's informative and well written.  A great Halloween read!

Unbridled Books
Oct. 2010
320 pages
$15.95 US

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free. All opinions expressed are 100% mine. If you purchase a book using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.

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