'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 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. 'A highly companionable guide, adventurous and romantic' Independent on Sunday 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.