Sunday, 4 February 2018

“Shadows from the Walls of Death”

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Here is a fascinating article about how libraries handle the remaining copies of a 19th century book that contains poisonous wallpaper samples. It reads like a story by Poe or Borges. 
'The macabre title page reproduces a quote from the Biblical book of Leviticus: “And behold if the plague be in the walls of the house, with hollow streaks, greenish or reddish, then the priest…shall cause the house to be scraped within round about, and they shall pour out the dust that they scrape off without the city into an unclean place.” The remaining pages, 86 in full, consist of wallpaper samples taken from common merchants.'

What the article doesn't mention is that arsenical wallpaper has been blamed for the death of Napoleon.

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