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

Bitten by Witch Fever Wallpaper Arsenic in the Victorian Home 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 Bitten by Witch Fever

  • Title: Bitten by Witch Fever: Wallpaper & Arsenic in the Victorian Home
  • Author: Lucinda Hawksley
  • ISBN: 9780500518380
  • Page: 285
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 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.

    One thought on “Bitten by Witch Fever: Wallpaper & Arsenic in the Victorian Home”

    1. First impression: This book is quite simply gorgeous. It's like the most beautiful wallpaper sample book at the home decorating store. I could look at Victorian wallpaper all day. Second thought: The text pages are just horrible to read. OMG! Who chose this ridicuous font? And the poor contrast? No, I am not interested in a discussion of the potential benefits of cognitive disfluency, I just want to read the book. I'm taking away one star for the designer's decision that being artsy-fartsy is th [...]

    2. A really superb book about the historical uses of arsenic, and specifically it's use in wallpapers. The text portion of the book is relatively short, spliced with beautiful full-page images of various wallpapers. It's a visually stunning book and the text is accessible to most readers.

    3. Miners were commonly exposed to arsenic, and as technological innovations continued, an ever increasing proportion of American and European society became exposed as well. From Scheele green's creation in 1775 through the early 1900s, arsenic was found in practically anything meant to have medicinal or colored properties, from candy to clothes to wallpaper. Astoundingly, Britain never actually outlawed the manufacture or sale of wallpaper containing arsenic, even after decades of clear evidence [...]

    4. Interesting read, but I wanted to comment more on the structure of the book rather than the content. This is one of the most beautifully designed books I've ever read. The full page facsimiles of wallpaper alternated with the signatures of text which were shorter in width so that flipping through the book you could easily jump from chapter to chapter for easy reference, which was an interesting take on traditional book construction. The choice of font was the only design decision I was not a fan [...]

    5. The book is a gorgeous object, for a start. The gold ink and the poison bottle embossed into the cover are lovely details, and the prints of the various wallpapers are beautiful and fascinating. I learned a lot of interesting history on various subjects -- the arts and crafts movement, mining, forensics, working conditions, medicine. 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 [...]

    6. It's a gorgeous book. The combination of text and the many, many pictures is absolutely stunning. It's a very nice book to read as well. It tells the history of both arsenic and wallpaper -because the two are closely related. It's always nice to see one of the most famous murderesses from your town to show up as well (Goeie Mie!). 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. Therefore 4/5 st [...]

    7. Really fun book. Wallpaper samples are gorgeous, if a bit busy. The history of arsenic is fascinating and fraught. Also, the world before corporate regulation was a scary place. There's no reason to stop using arsenic in wallpaper and dress goods (and candy!) when people are willing to buy and it's cheaper not to switch to something safer. (And why tell anyone there's arsenic in the candy. They'll never know, and it'll just upset them. Let the buyer beware.)

    8. legitimately one of the wildest books i've read i mean making tiny pages of describing many aspects of arsenic, -- death and murder encounters linked with it and dangers of it in domestic / daily life as if it was contained in many daily products, even food and cosmetics(!!) and specially , about arsenic containing wallpapers which also had many samples of it in each chapter.The strangest thing is that the samples kinnd of smelled like the wallpapers that used to contain arsenic, or at least it [...]

    9. A lovely book but very annoying to read. Pages were of two different sizes, and I had to hold it from the top edge to keep the smaller, text pages from shutting. Then, they used a strange font which was difficult to read, with ligatures idiosyncratically placed between letters.Great topic, decent writing, poor execution.

    10. This was a wonderful description of arsenic in the Victorian era, particularly in use in wallpapers. The layout of the book was very unique and it was full of examples of old wallpaper designs which I loved browsing.

    11. A history of the use of arsenic in pigments used to print wallpaper and the health risk it caused. I was struck by possible economic reasons over people's well being is restricted to modern events.

    12. Less reviewed than it is discussed in passing in my blog post, "Adventures in Morbid Non-fiction": librarianslauderdale.wordpresThis is a beautifully constructed book, just gorgeous in detail, with full page images of the wallpapers included alternating with chapters printed on narrower signatures explaining about the history of arsenical wallpapers and placing them in the context of wider arsenic use in the Victorian period.

    13. A beautiful book to look at with its creative design and vibrant pages of nineteenth century wallpapers. The story behind arsenic wallpaper and fabrics is very interesting. I'm amazed at the number of everyday household items that once contained arsenic and other poisons. It's amazing that anyone survived!

    14. This book is utterly sumptuous. The cover fabric and design is so gorgeous, you just want to keep stroking it -- and yet it all seems to beautiful to be allowed to touch. 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. The wallpapers are striking and well-presented. I usually give away books after I've finished reading them, but I can't bea [...]

    15. How interesting can a book about wallpaper be? Extremely. Lucinda Hawksley has written a brief, approachable history of the use of wallpaper and arsenic in the Victorian era.While Regency decoration favored more muted color palettes, the Victorians embraced bright, gaudy and electric hues. This included the rich fabrics used to make women’s ball gowns and the impressively printed papers hung in parlors and bedrooms across England.Please read my full review here:mwgerard/review-bitten-by-

    16. This is a BEAUTIFUL book full of lovely old wallpaper patterns and charming, short chapters about this history of arsenic used in the manufacturing of old wallpaper to keep the colors bright and true. Lovely.

    17. Fascinating. 1001 common uses of arsenic. A study of what happens when technology outstrips medicine, paired with stunning artistic designs.

    18. Is this a metaphor for climate change? This book is a gorgeous design object and I offer many bewildered props for the bold choice of typeface and excessive use of ligatures.

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