Monday, April 3, 2017

Bitten by Witch Fever

Bitten by Witch Fever by Lucinda Hawksley.  256 pages

This book delves into the history of the use of arsenic in pigments, most notably those used in wallpaper in the Victorian home.  The author begins with an introduction of the properties of arsenic and why it was used by paint and dye manufacturers, and then delves into much more in further chapters.  Each chapter is divided by pages of wallpaper designs, so you can easily see the types of colors and designs used at the time.

This is one of the coolest books I have ever seen.  While it's very informative, it's also beautiful.  It's fascinating to read about the history of arsenic (both in wallpaper and in other things), and it's an interesting view into history of the arts and crafts movements, medicine, and even the working conditions of people in the Victorian age.  You wouldn't expect that you'd learn so much from a book whose title focuses on wallpaper and arsenic, but this is an insightful and interesting look into Victorian society and history.

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