THE DARK SHADE
‘Bitten by Witch Fever’ by Lucinda Hawksley (Thames & Hudson, £28)
Its title taken from a quote by William Morris about the hysteria surrounding the discovery of arsenic toxicity in the 19th century, this book is a compelling and at times macabre story of how a lethal poison came to be intimately linked with home decoration. Richly illustrated with images of wallpapers that were dyed vivid green using arsenicderived pigments, it takes in stories of murder and accidental death as well as the enduring mystery of why Morris – a passionate socialist – was unmoved by the plight of workers manufacturing deadly wallcoverings. You’ll see green in a whole new light.