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The Secret Lives of Colour: Kassia St Clair Paperback – Illustrated, 6 Sept. 2018

4.7 out of 5 stars 3,258 ratings

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From the Publisher

Product description

Review

If you want to fall back in love with colour, read The Secret Lives of Colour SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

A dazzling and vibrant history of colour, from Van Gogh's wilting yellow sunflowers to Turner's deadly green and Picasso's darkest period MAIL ON SUNDAY

This is a gorgeous bookGUARDIAN

Even Farrow and Ball don't know as much about the secret lore of colour as Kassia St Clair... Almost every page throws up an unexpected detail and insight... Extraordinarily full and interesting...An ideal crib and a valuable resource not only for the design-conscious but for students. -- Brian Morton ― TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

The
weirdly fascinating history of your favourite hues from an unwittingly deadly, arsenic-tinged green to Van Gogh's favoured yellow ― WIRED

'An excellent, innovative and idiosyncratic cultural history that will colour your thinking...St Clair writes with style, energy and knowledge, explaining many mysteries succinctly and wittily, such as why a regular tomato is, for example, not red. Tomatoes appear red because that's the very wavelength their skin does not absorb. A 'red' tomato lies to tell the truth.. Snappily designed, with high production values...[The Secret Lives of Colour is] attractive and diverting.' -- Stephen Bayley ― SPECTATOR

Beautiful...See how a single colour can tell different stories across the globe. ― DAILY MAIL

A work of art in its own right... a beautiful tactile book filled with fascinating anecdotes about every colour from blonde to puce. THE POOL

CharmingFINANCIAL TIMES

From pink boys' clothes to blue warpaint; why orange spells danger and other colourful talesDAILY TELEGRAPH

Inspiring, compelling and beautifully designed . . . this book will appeal to anyoneTHE LADY

A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every colour has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking. Very hard painting the hallway magnolia after this inspiring primer

SIMON GARFIELD

A companionable, informative and lively guide to sights so easily taken for grantedTHE ECONOMIST

A
vivid exploration of the world of colour and our colourful world . . . St Clair is able to dance effortlessly through an astonishing range of subjects . . . What The Secret Lives of Colour offers really is, in some sense, a flash portrait of human civilisation, a zigzagging and unpredictable exploration of how significantly colour has shaped histories and disciplines, fuelled empires, changed the nature of war and caused species to flourish or face extinctionCHEMISTRY WORLD

An irresistible lexicon of coloursCOUNTRY LIVING

Well-researched and engaging ―
HOUSE & GARDEN

Brimming with interesting facts, historical insights and curious tales.ELLE DECORATION

Kassia St Clair is well-placed to observe the important place that colour has in human civilisation and development...
Discursive and anecdotal... this book holds many surprises. Nothing is quite what it seems or how it is seen. ― THE OLDIE

A mix of science lore and delightful bookmaking, The Secret Lives of Colour is for reading, dipping and holding up against your curtains ― The Tablet

Extremely well-researched historically,
each colour story is rich in detail and description, combining vignettes of historical actors with contextual background ranging from the ancient past to the present day. For anyone who was ever fascinated by a box of crayons, coloured pencils or the story of people in time, St Clair's book will not disappointReview 31

I recommend the book to all creatives - and non-creatives, too!Dame Zandra Rhodes

Beautifully presented . . . The book is simply about colour. But colour is not simple. The history, geography, politics, scandals and influence of colours are documented here with a knowledgeable voice. With references from Jessica Rabbit to Lord Mountbatten, from Greek poets to slavery, this is a fascinating read -- Viv Albertine ― GUARDIAN, Book of the Year

Book Description

The unforgettable history of colours and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-coloured volume

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ John Murray; Illustrated edition (6 Sept. 2018)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1473630835
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1473630833
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16.4 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Customer reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 3,258 ratings

About the author

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Kassia St Clair is a freelance journalist and writer based in London. She writes about design and culture for publications including The Economist, House &amp; Garden, Quartz and 1843, and is a frequent guest on BBC radio, Marketplace and Monocle 24. She has had a column about colour in Elle Decoration since 2013, and is a former assistant books &amp; arts editor for The Economist.

For more information visit http://kassiastclair.com/ or follow her on Twitter, @kassiastclair


Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
3,258 global ratings

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