Mauve is just pink trying to be purple.
~James Abbott McNeill Whistler
I had a million things to do yesterday: write a new course proposal, rework an old book proposal, write memos and evaluations (the endless activities of a department chair), work on my digital exhibition of the Great Salem Fire of 1914, finish my seasonal closet turnover (alway a huge project, unfortunately), laundry, cleaning, etc…but for some reason I lay on the couch and read a book about purple—a color I don’t even like—for a good part of the day. To be more precise, the book was about mauve, the first artificial dye, invented quite by accident in 1856 by a teenaged chemical student named William Perkin. I’ve had Simon Garfield‘s Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color that Changed the World in my library for quite a while, but I never really opened it up until yesterday.
And once I did, much of the day slipped away…
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