I'm amazed at the number of everyday household items that once contained arsenic and other poisons. A few countries were quick to ban its commercial use, while factories where it was used were slow to address safety issues for workers. It's a very nice book to read as well. No, I am not interested in a discussion of the potential benefits of cognitive disfluency, I just want to read the book. Okay, now for the part where I sound like an old lady: I deducted a whole star because this book was so damn difficult to read.
The use of arsenic-based pigments in wallpaper dates to the late 18th century, when a Swedish chemist invented an intense green pigment that was later made more brilliant and durable with arsenic. Pages were of two different sizes, and I had to hold it from the top edge to keep the smaller, text pages from shutting. Thinking about these images decorating homes while at the same time possibly poisoning the people who adored them is a striking dichotomy. Spliced between the sections of text are stunning facsimiles of the wallpapers themselves. Truth is often stranger, darker, and more insidious than fiction.
Where the classic horror comedy dramaticized the historic use of arsenic as poison via elderberry wine, a routine use of the substance killed an incalculable number of people, probably at least in the tens of thousands, over the course of a little more than a century. Lucinda Hawksley Bitten By Witch Fever: wallpaper and arsenic in the Victorian home Lucinda Hawksley will talk about wallpaper, fashion, medical mystification and serial poisoners, about death by arsenic and how it became a constant topic in Victorian newspapers. Milioni di rotoli di carta da parati prodotti su larga scala, bellissimi da ammirare ma che furono anche la causa di intossicazione e morte per avvelenamento dei lavoratori che li produssero e di chi, sfortunatamente, si trovò a vivere in camere poco ventilate ma splendidamente decorate con questi disegni mortali. The story of arsenic in everyday items particularly wallpaper is well-told, with typeface and layout choices that makes you feel as if you're in the historical period rather than simply reading about it. Wallpaper samples are gorgeous, if a bit busy. Be prepared for old-fashioned script that makes esses look like effs. 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.
Not that this stopped companies from simply lying and claiming their products were arsenic-free. It's a rather informative book that explains not only how arsenic made it's appearance in wallpaper but, also, in many other everyday objects like some high-quality dresses. Perhaps the ultimate answer as to why arsenic-laced wallpaper continued to proliferate the market for so long lies in their undeniable aesthetic appeal. Also, I'm keeping this info handy for next time I get into an argument with someone about the need for environmental regulations and workers' rights. Not only did he use arsenic in his wallpaper pigments, he owned a large block of shares in a Devon arsenic mine, and he defended the use of this terrible poison. This was inspired by the treasures on display in the European Splendour exhibition 1500-1800 that was exhibited at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. For the first time in their history, every one of the samples shown has been laboratory tested and found to contain arsenic.
It's always nice to see one of the most famous murderesses from your town to show up as well Goeie Mie! Physicians suspected that arsenical wallpapers were poisoning people; however, the highly profitable wallpaper business dismissed the claims and the British government never legislated a ban. Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge: A microhistory This is an interesting book on a weird bit of history that I for one hadn't encountered before. The horrors were real: young siblings die after pulling wallpaper off their walls and licking off the strange flavor. The book is a gorgeous object, for a start. It makes me want to re-read Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers and Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett, which both concern themselves with detecting the cause of cases of arsenic poisoning. It was used on walls, but also in flypaper, flocked papers, rodent and insect poison, asthma and eczema cream, as a Victorian aphrodisiac, face creams and soaps, artificial decorative fruits and vegetables, dress fabrics, mail labels, playing cards, all sorts of product packaging, and gulp cake icing coloring, candy, and lickable postage stamps.
While Regency decoration favored more muted color palettes, the Victorians embraced bright, gaudy and electric hues. It's amazing that anyone survived! They'll never know, and it'll just upset them. The book is lovely, with 275 stunning wallpapers spliced into an intriguing narrative about the lore of arsenic, often called the poison of kings. It tells the history of both arsenic and wallpaper -because the two are closely related. The wallpapers are striking and well-presented. It's always nice to see one of the most famous murderesses from your town to show up as well Goeie Mie! Please keep your proposal under six pages, and do not send attachments.
This is one of the most beautifully designed books I've ever read. Although I was surprise that Britain, to this day, has never banned the use of arsenic in coloring wallpaper. She is the daughter of Henry Dickens Hawksley and Susan Jane, and the great-great-great-granddaughter of Victorian novelist Charles Dickens and his wife Catherine, Hawksley is an award-winning travel writer. But mankind has known the harm of arsenic going back to ancient times, right? I know Lucinda Hawksley is a good researcher and this is sort of a popular book, however: I would have liked a list of references and further reading. Description 256 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm Notes Includes bibliographical references pages 250-253 and index. And it could be the most surprising and intriguing book you read this year. As its use became widespread, commercial arsenic mines increased production to meet the near-insatiable demand.
Yet each of the papers represented was tested by current scientists to include arsenic. Arsenic was used to produce pigments making more brilliant colours that were then used for wallpapers, textile, toys, beauty products and much more, causing the poisoning and death to the people producing them and those living in the houses decorated with these deadly wallpapers. The numerous color pages that show wallpapers that have tested positive for arsenic captured my attention even more. They are informative but a little too full of tedious information various years that various places banned arsenic or other poisons--which occasionally slip out of the chronological order of the book. I could look at Victorian wallpaper all day.
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. An unnerving account of an unexpected killer in the elaborately decorated homes of Victorian England: arsenic-laced wallpaper. I usually give away books after I've finished reading them, but I can't bear to part with something so deeply lovely. From an ancient Greek physician using arsenic as an antiseptic to Nero using arsenic to murder Britannicus, to Napoleon rumored to have died in exile from arsenic poisoning, to the death of a Swedish king and the Borgias, the history of the substance crosses borders and social strata. It is tracing the arresting story of the use and effects of the toxic pigments ingrained in popular wallpapers of the nineteenth century.