Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Collecting the Skulls of Famous People!" Lecture, Los Angeles, October 8

If you happen to live in LA, why not head over to check out this lecture at Sklylight books tomorrow night? I would certainly be there if I could!
Collecting the Skulls of Famous People!
Colin Dickey discusses - Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius
Thursday, October 8, 2009
7:30pm - 8:30pm
Skylight Books
1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles, CA

A fascinating discussion by this local author about the extraordinary history of a particular kind of obsession--the desire to own the skulls of the famous, for study, for sale, and for public (or private) display.

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.
You can find out more information about the event and the bookshop here. You can find out more about the book by clicking here.

Thanks to Ann Bachand for alerting me to this event and the existence of this book!

Photo Courtesy of the Otis Historical Archives, from the book's website, which can be found here.

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