T H E S E C R E T L I V E S O F C O L O U R
Companionable, informative…A light and lively guide to sights so easily taken for granted (THE ECONOMIST)
Well-researched and engaging (HOUSE & GARDEN)
Charming (FINANCIAL TIMES)
St. Clair’s rhetoric beautifies the form of the brief essay (PUBLISHERS WEEKLY)
Beautifully written and thoughtfully produced…Full of anecdotes and fascinating research, this elegant compendium has all the answers (NPR’s BEST BOOKS OF 2017)
Inspiring, compelling and beautifully designed . . . this will appeal to anyone (THE LADY)
The history of colors, it turns out, is the story of science as well as art. Kassia St. Clair’s entertaining book brings them both into vivid relief (WALL STREET JOURNAL)
‘The Secret Lives of Colour’ was BBC Radio 4′s Book of the Week and a Sunday Times number one best-seller. It a tells the stories of 75 unusual colours, from amber to absinthe, puce to pitch black, and from shocking pink to acid yellow.
Initially inspired by the fanciful descriptions I came across while researching a dissertation on eighteenth-century masquerade costumes at Oxford, my fascination with pigments, dyes and hues, both beloved and obscure, blossomed into an obsession with the history of colour. After three years as a columnist for Elle Decoration, I finally got the opportunity to write this book. Across fashion and politics, art and war, it tells a vivid story of our culture.
‘The Secret Lives of Colour’ was published in the UK by John Murray and in America by Penguin. It has been translated into multiple languages including Spanish, German, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Dutch and Romanian. You can also—of course—follow it on Instagram.
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T H E G O L D E N T H R E A D
A charming, absorbing and quietly feminist history that takes us on a journey from the silk roads to sportswear, from ruffs to spacesuits…I devoured this book (SUNDAY TIMES)
A joyful commingling of text and textiles in 13 beautifully wrought stories (NATURE)
The Golden Thread will make you rethink your relationship with fabric (ELLE DECORATION)
Vivid tales spun with such style…utterly riveting history (IRISH TIMES)
‘The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History’ was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and a Sunday Times Book of the Year. From Viking woollen sails to Apollo 11 spacesuits, this book offers an unforgettable adventure through our past, present and future.
Fabrics — manmade and natural — have advanced and shaped the world we live in and the cultures we have created. When we talk of lives hanging by a thread, being interwoven, or part of the social fabric, we are part of a tradition that stretches back many thousands of years. Threads, spun from naturally occuring fibres or modern plastics, have allowed us to achieve extraordinary things and survive in unlikely places. From the woollen sails of the Vikings, via the linen wrappings beloved in Ancient Egypt, to the factories responsible for Michael Phelps’ swimsuit, ‘The Golden Thread’ shows you how and why fabric has changed history.
‘The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History’ is out now in the UK, published by John Murray. It is available now from Hive and Amazon UK and was selected as BBC Radio 4′s Book of the Week. It will be published in America in 2019 by Liveright and is being translated into multiple languages, including Dutch, Chinese and German.
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Research for the next book or two is underway. Please watch this space.