Bitten by Witch Fever - Wallpaper Arsenic in the Victorian Home

Author(s): Lucinda Hawksley

Interiors

Beautiful to look at and compelling to read, Bitten by Witch Fever is a highly original and captivating volume that interleaves facsimile sections of alluring, arsenic-laden wallpapers with thought-provoking narrative, tracing the arresting story of the use and effects of the toxic pigments ingrained in popular wallpapers of the nineteenth century. Lucinda Dickens Hawksley presents the history of Scheele's green and schweinfurt green, pigments created using arsenic, which produced the vibrant shades whose brilliance made them instant favourites with wallpaper designers and householders alike. With the aid of contemporary case studies and reports in the press, she reveals how, by the middle of the century, manufacturers were producing millions of rolls of arsenical wallpaper, with devastating consequences for those working in their factories and for those living in rooms decorated with the deadly designs. The wallpaper sections display dazzling long- lost work from the great designers and printers of the age, including Christopher Dresser, Corbiere, Son Brindle, Charles Knowles Co. and Morris Co. - whose owner was famously dismissive of the fatal effects of living with arsenic-filled wallpapers.


Product Information

Replicates the papers hues and texture, with meticulous color-matching and heavyweight stock, interspersing color-themed sections with booklets that relate the history and uses of the poison." Fascinating Perhaps the ultimate answer as to why arsenic-laced wallpaper continued to proliferate the market for so long lies in their undeniable aesthetic appeal. Dangerously beautiful yes, but with an allure that stands the test of time and should serve as an enduring warning for all." Replicates the papers' hues and texture, with meticulous color-matching and heavyweight stock, interspersing color-themed sections with booklets that relate the history and uses of the poison. Fascinating... Perhaps the ultimate answer as to why arsenic-laced wallpaper continued to proliferate the market for so long lies in their undeniable aesthetic appeal. Dangerously beautiful yes, but with an allure that stands the test of time--and should serve as an enduring warning for all. Tells the story of the extensive use of arsenic in the 19th century [and] includes pictures of objects and artworks made from substances that incorporated arsenic, and advertisements for arsenic-filled products for Victorian women, such as soap with a doctor's certificate to ensure its harmlessness. An unnerving account of an unexpected killer in the elaborately decorated homes of Victorian England: arsenic-laced wallpaper...The book's gorgeous wallpaper facsimiles give no hint of their toxicity; they beautifully evoke Victorian style with their ornate patterns and rich, vivid colors, illustrating why these papers, and specifically their green shades, were so popular.

General Fields

  • : 9780500518380
  • : Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • : Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • : August 2016
  • : 250mm X 195mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : August 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Lucinda Hawksley
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 747.3
  • : 256
  • : 350 illustrations, 250 in colour