Bitten By Witch Fever
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Bitten By Witch Fever : Wallpaper & Arsenic in the Victorian Home

4.29 (79 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"As to the arsenic scare a greater folly it is hardly possible to imagine: the doctors were bitten as people were bitten by the witch fever." (William Morris on toxic wallpapers, 1885). Bitten by Witch Fever presents facsimile samples of 275 of the most sumptuous wallpaper designs ever created by designers and printers of the age, including Christopher Dresser and Morris & Co. For the first time in their history, every one of the samples shown has been laboratory tested and found to contain arsenic. Interleaved with the wallpaper sections, evocative commentary guides you through the incredible story of the manufacture, uses and effects of arsenic, and presents the heated public debate surrounding the use of deadly pigments in the sublime wallpapers of a newly industrialized world.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 195 x 250 x 27.94mm | 940g
  • Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 350 illustrations, 250 in colour
  • 0500518386
  • 9780500518380
  • 93,951

Review quote

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.show more

Rating details

79 ratings
4.29 out of 5 stars
5 44% (35)
4 42% (33)
3 13% (10)
2 1% (1)
1 0% (0)
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