RRP: £14.99 Details

This is the retail price by the manufacturer or importer of the product. Amazon confirms the relevance of this RRP, on a quarterly basis, compared to prices charged by at least one competitor or Amazon.
Learn more
Save: £4.80 (32%)
& FREE Returns
Return this item for free
  • Free returns are available for the shipping address you chose. For a full refund with no deduction for return shipping, you can return the item for any reason in new and unused condition.
  • Learn more about free returns.
FREE delivery Tuesday, August 23. Details
Or fastest delivery Tomorrow, August 21. Order within 17 hrs 29 mins. Details
In stock.
As an alternative, the Kindle eBook is available now and can be read on any device with the free Kindle app. Want to listen? Try Audible.
££10.19 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Initial payment breakdown
Delivery cost, delivery date and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
Your transaction is secure
We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. Learn more
Dispatches from
Sold by
Dispatches from
Sold by
Return policy: Returnable within 30 days of receipt
Item can be returned in its original condition for a full refund or replacement within 30 days of receipt
The Secret Lives of Colou... has been added to your Basket
£2.80 delivery August 25 - 30. Details
Used: Good | Details
Sold by WeBuyBooks
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex library copy with usual stamps & stickers Over 10 Million items sold. UK Expedited shipping available on this item for 4.99. Fast shipping. Excellent Customer Feedback. Over 10 Million items sold. UK Expedited shipping available on this item for 4.99. Fast shipping. Excellent Customer Feedback.
Share <Embed>
Have one to sell?
Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more.

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Follow the author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

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

4.7 out of 5 stars 3,258 ratings

Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
Paperback, Illustrated
£10.00 £5.35
Limited-time offer
Note: This item is eligible for FREE Click and Collect without a minimum order subject to availability. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you subject to availability.
  • Choose from over 20,000 locations across the UK
  • FREE unlimited deliveries at no additional cost for all customers
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more

Enhance your purchase

School Books
From pre-school to A-levels, find School Books for all ages Shop now

Frequently bought together

  • The Secret Lives of Colour: Kassia St Clair
  • +
  • The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History
  • +
  • Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle
Total price:
To see our price, add these items to your basket.
Some of these items are dispatched sooner than the others.
Choose items to buy together.

From the Publisher

Product description


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

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


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


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

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 ―

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

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

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

Top reviews from United Kingdom

Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 October 2017
43 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 August 2020
13 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 January 2019
19 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 May 2019
13 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 June 2019
8 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 May 2017
30 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 May 2019
7 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 May 2017
27 people found this helpful
Report abuse