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This is an auction for MAUVE: HOW ONE MAN INVENTED A COLOUR THAT CHANGED THE WORLD, by Simon Garfield.

"British writer Garfield tells the story of mauve, the first mass-produced artificial colour, which was the creation of an 18-year-old London chemist. A bit of a prodigy, William Perkins set up a home laboratory to augment his college studies in 1856 and decided to try his hand at synthesizing quinine, which was in great demand as malaria raged across the British empire. Working with coal tar, an abundant waste product, he failed in his mission but was quite taken with the "strangely beautiful colour" of the powder he produced. Perkins ended up inventing the first aniline dye, then cheekily developed a process for its commercial manufacture. Worn by Queen Victoria, mauve soon became all the rage (Punch lampooned the fad as "Mauve Measles"), and Perkins became a wealthy man. Ultimately Perkins' discovery earned him a knighthood and led to important advances in medicine, photography, and many other fields. His nearly forgotten career is chronicled by Garfield with palpable pleasure."
- Booklist (US)

"Since his discovery of the first synthetic dye in 1856, interest in William Perkin has undergone a resurgence approximately every 50 years. Garfield's biography focuses on Perkin as a pioneer, taking research from the burgeoning field of academic chemistry and applying it to industry. That the use of stains and dyes eventually transformed biochemistry and medicine is ironic, given that Perkin was originally seeking a cure for malaria when he stumbled onto the mauve dye. Recommended."
- Library Journal (US)

Hardback 2000.

222 pages + photographs.

New condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95 (ordinary post) or $6.95 (tracked mail). If you are on rural delivery and want tracked mail, the shipping cost will be $9.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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Shipping options

  • NZ Post$4.95
  • tracked mail$6.95
  • tracked mail for Rural Delivery (RD)$9.95
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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