The bynding of this booke is all that remains of my deare friende Jonas Wright, who was flayed alive by the Wavuma on the Fourth Day of August, 1632. King Btesa did give me the book, it being one of poore Jonas chiefe possessions, together with ample of his skin to bynd it. Requiescat in pace.
It might sound like the province of H.P. Lovecraft and his notoriously apocryphal tome, The Necronomicon, but the practice of binding books with human skin is a historical reality. Many ivy league university libraries contain at least one example, including the treatise on Spanish law (Practicarum quaestionum circa leges regias Hispaniae) at Harvard that bears the inscription quoted above. Brown University has three, including a rare copy of De Humani Corporis Fabrica by Vesalius (which contains the lovely image copied here). Other morbid examples include court proceedings bound in the skin of the murderer convicted, and erotica bound with skin from human breasts.