Hannibal Lecter, Book Collector, An Illustrated Lecture with Elisabeth Brander, Rare Book Librarian at Washington University
Date: Thursday, October 8th
Admission: $8 ( Tickets Here )
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215 Brooklyn
Through the pages of Thomas Harris’ novels and multiple move adaptations, Hannibal Lecter has come vividly alive as a cannibalistic serial killer who, despite his meat of choice, is still a man of impeccable taste. In his most recent incarnation in Bryan Fuller’s TV show Hannibal, Lecter is particularly sinister due to how well he is able to hide his murderous desires behind his image as a cultured, upper class physician. He not a lone outsider venting his rage against the world; he is a gourmet chef, a patron of the arts, a connoisseur of music and, if those interior shots of his office are anything to go by, he’s amassed a rather fantastic book collection.
So what sorts of books does a cannibalistic serial killer with refined tastes collect? The works that line his shelves would be rare, beautiful, and reflective of a man with an interest in anatomy (albeit for unorthodox purposes) and psychology. A look at Hannibal Lecter’s rare book collection is a look at some of the most beautiful and occasionally unsettling medical works that have been printed from the late 15th century onward.
Elisabeth Brander is the Rare Book Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis’ Bernard Becker Medical Library, which provides ample fuel for her fascination with early modern history, rare books, and interesting images. Her favorite anatomical atlas is William Hunter’s Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus; her favorite novel is constantly in flux. She attempts to write her own fiction which mainly revolves around magic, mermaids, and/or murder.