Colour is all around us; we take it for granted as a naturally occurring element of all things. Yet colours are also manufactured, and the science of pigments, hues and dyes has an ancient and fascinating history. This book surveys the story of dyes and pigments, the invention of new colours and the industries that were fuelled by them. What were the colours of ancient Egypt? What did its artists use to paint their magnificent frescoes? Where do indigo and ochre come from? Why is purple the colour of royalty? What are pastels? How many colours are there? Why do we dye our food? Who invented ink? What is the symbolism of yellow? From cerise to crimson, from puce to periwinkle, this book is as rich, varied and delightful as a box of crayons.