We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Buy Now:

Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781399711869

Price: £24.99

ON SALE: 8th September 2022

Genre: Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure / Travel & Holiday / Travel Writing

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

‘A rare and wonderful book… I could not be more enthusiastic.’ Simon Winchester

‘A treasure trove of human history and obsession…the breadth of research and insight is dazzling.’ Glasgow Herald

‘A highly companionable guide, adventurous and romantic’ Independent on Sunday

On a journey that takes her from Afghanistan, to the Australian outback, to ancient caves in China, and the saffron harvest in Spain, Victoria Finlay gives an extraordinary and compelling account of the history of colour.

On a journey that takes her from Afghanistan, to the Australian outback, to ancient caves in China, and the saffron harvest in Spain, Victoria Finlay gives an extraordinary and compelling account of the history of colour.


Colour unlocks the history of the colours of the rainbow, and reveals how paints came to be invented, discovered, traded and used. This remarkable and beautifully written book, part travelogue part narrative history, remembers a time when red paint was really the colour of blood, when orange was the poison pigment, blue as expensive as gold, and yellow made from the urine of cows force-fed with mangoes. It looks at how green was carried by yaks along the silk road, and how an entire nation was founded on the colour purple.

Exciting, richly informative, and always surprising, Colour lifts the lid on the historical palette and unearths an astonishing wealth of stories about the quest for colours, and our efforts to understand them.

(P)2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What's Inside

Read More Read Less