Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius

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Unbridled Books, Jan 1, 2009 - HISTORY - 320 pages
13 Reviews
Beginning dramatically with the opening of Haydn s grave two days after his death 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. 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.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ElizaJane - LibraryThing

Reason for Reading: I read a lot of fiction and non-fiction taking place during Victorian times and was interested in what this book had to offer from that time period especially on the topic of ... Read full review

Review: Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius

User Review  - Kelly - Goodreads

Marzipan would have been the singular reason for my picking up of this book from the shelves. But it seems I have yet a ways to go before quitting my fascination with death and her history. Read full review

Contents

Non Omnis Moriar
1
A MOST VALUABLE RELIC
13
THE ALCHEMICAL BODY
87
THE FATE OF HIS BONES
175
REPATRIATIONS
237
BIBLIOGRAPHY
303
INDEX OF NAMES
307
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Colin Dickey is the co-editor of Failure! Experiments in Aesthetic and Social Practices. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Cabinet, TriQuarterly, and The Santa Monica Review. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he now lives in Los Angeles. Author photo by Seth Sherwood.

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