About this book
The incredible story of William Perkin, the young scientist who, in a quest to synthesise quinine from coal, discovered the formula for the colour purple. A highly entertaining piece of narrative history, which gives a remarkable insight into the scientific process. "A book about science which also happens to be a miniature work of art." Hugh Massingberd, "Daily Telegraph".
An artificial dye, mauve, was discovered by a 19th-century chemist called William Perkin while searching for a synthetic alternative to natural quinine. This book examines how the different worlds of fashion, industry, business, chemistry and medicine were transformed by a single colour.
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