Today’s cover is courtesy of Evan Gaffney.
The Last Sin Eater, by Pam Griffin:
“And for thy own peace I pawn my own soul…”
When three of Richard Munslow’s children are struck down by whooping cough the farmer is distraught. Fearing he is responsible and that God is punishing him for something, he despairs of ever being able to attone for the sin he must have committeed to bring down such a terrible punishment.
While he is at his lowest his sister begs him to fetch a priest for her son, who is also dying of the cough. Although the priest doesn’t reach the house in time to grant an absolution, Richard finds some solace in taking on the role of sin eater - taking on the sins of the deceased - and forfeiting his own soul in the process.
Based on what little is known of the true story of Richard Munslow, England’s last sin eater, who died in 1903 and is buried in Shropshire.
Evan Gaffney is a graphic designer specializing in book and music packaging. He lives and works in New York.