This was one of my recent buys whilst in Whitby. I had seen it in the window of a wonderful bookstore and couldn’t but have my curiosity peaked by the cover. I was so drawn to it. Tom Adams World of Weird: A Creepy Compendium of True Stories is a collection told from the perspective of Dr Leila McCreebor, sharing her great-grandfathers cabinet of curiosities, notepads and sketches of all things bizarre. The doctor goes into her family history at the beginning, stating that no one dared mention her great-grandfather and how she came across some of his belongings in the attic, and wanted to delve deeper; stating he had been alive during the reign of Queen Victoria which had been a time of exploration.
The book is aimed at a younger audience. It’s one that I will definitely be keeping for younger visitors and potentially my own kids. It’s the type of book that I would have loved when I was a kid (not sure what that says about me). The book is sectioned by different areas of expertise such as;
- Artificialia – such as automata and masks
- Naturalia – Human remains and strange creatures (it mentions Rat Kings which definitely brought to mind The Last of Us Part II).
- Spiritualis – communicating with spirits
- Scientifica – Objects that helped or hindered the scientific and medical fields
- Scelus et supplicium – punishments and tortures like Witch’s Collars
- Magicae – magical objects and casting spells
- Morteum – death rituals and mummification
The whole book was really well done. It was full of sketches and illustrations, and had enough information to peak your interest but not too graphic a detail that it would scar younger readers. I loved the victorian, almost steam-punk aesthetic of it all. It’s a book I will always keep hold of.
Cheerio for now!