Saturday, June 15, 2013

Conspirator cover

Jesuit priest Father Henry Garnet (1555-1606) was hanged for treason for his part in the Gunpowder Plot, a failed assassination attempt against England's King James I in 1605. According to legend, an image of his face appeared on a piece of bloodstained straw found at the scene of his execution. Shortly thereafter, a book entitled A True and Perfect Relation of The Whole Proceedings against the Late most barbarous Traitors, Garnet a Jesuit and his Confederats was printed in London. On a specially-bound volume, the priest's face again appeared: "It's a little bit spooky because the front of the book looks like it has the face of a man on it, which is presumed to be the victim's face," describes auctioneer Sid Wilkerson. He sold the book (PICTURED ABOVE) – contained in a box measuring 11" x 7" x 5" (28 cm x 19 cm x 13 cm), equipped with a handle, decorated with brass, and closed with an iron clasp – in 2007 for £5,400. But the face on the cover is not the most curious thing about it. That would be the belief that it was bound in the priest's own skin...

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