T H E  S E C R E T  L I V E S  O F  C O L O U R

IMG_2412Companionable, informative…A light and lively guide to sights so easily taken for granted (THE ECONOMIST)

Well-researched and engaging (HOUSE & GARDEN)


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 found researching a dissertation on eighteenth-century masquerade costumes at Oxford, Kassia’s fascination with pigments, dyes and hues, both beloved and obscure, blossomed into an obsession with the history of colour. Across fashion and politics, art and war, ‘The Secret Lives of Colour’ tells a vivid story of our culture. 

For more insight into what you will find between the covers, you can listen to the 99% Invisible episode about the book or hear Kassia talk to Monocle 24 about three colourful histories here.

‘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.

+ + +

T H E  G O L D E N  T H R E A D

GOLDEN THREADHugely ambitious, sparklingly erudite and wonderfully engaging (PETER FRANKOPAN, HISTORY TODAY)

The history of the world through the eye of a needle… Fascinating… I recommend this book to anyone (THE SPECTATOR)

This book is a treat . . . an exciting and entertaining historical tapestry, every page bursting with surprising insights (DOMINIC SANDBROOK, SUNDAY TIMES HISTORY BOOK OF THE YEAR)

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, a Sunday Times Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Somerset Maugham Award. 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’ is out now in the UK, published by John Murray. It is available from Hive and Amazon. It was published in America by Liveright and is being translated into multiple languages, including Dutch, Chinese and German.