Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Simon Garfield may tackle topics as diverse as typography, maps and collecting, but his 2002 book Mauve has had us rapt. It's the story of a Victorian chemist, William Perkins, who in 1856 at just 18 synthetically created the colour mauve in his pursuit of a cure for malaria. While he failed to make quinine, his discovery not only turned the world of fashion upside down, but contributed to the discovery of DNA, chemotherapy for cancer and the development of drugs for HIV among other things. We'll be taking a fresh look at mauve, or 'morv' as they Victorians would say.

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