Author Simon Winchester has spent the majority of career writing about journeys to familiar and remote destinations, or the impact of historical or scientific events. A raconteur who wraps his narratives around the lives of people at a moment in time or place, Winchester’s travels have taken him to island relics of the British Empire; up the Yangtze river and back into China’s history; and to San Francisco in search of stories from 1906 earthquake.
In his latest book, Winchester takes a different journey into the mind of a colorful Englishman and his obsession. Skulls: An Exploration of Alan Dudley’s Curious Collection is a tour of the world’s largest private collection dedicated to skulls in science, art, and iconography. Also available as an app, Skulls features the storytelling of Winchester combined with the photography of Nick Mann in order to weave a compelling tale that details Dudley and his collection.
Winchester joined the Commonwealth Club to discuss Skulls and shared the some of surprises he discovered during his research.