603 N. Lamar Blvd Austin, TX 78703 512-472-5050 Open 9AM - 11PM The largest independent bookstore in Texas!
Books On Our Site May Not Be Available In-Store
Is This Book In Stock? Be Savvy! Check availability details beneath the blue "Add to Cart" button.
In the sixteenth century, one of the world's most precious commodities was cochineal, a legendary red dye treasured by the ancient Mexicans and sold in the great Aztec marketplaces, where it attracted the attention of the Spanish conquistadors. Shipped to Europe, the dye created a sensation, producing the brightest, strongest red the world had ever seen. Soon Spain's cochineal monopoly was worth a fortune. As the English, French, Dutch, and other Europeans joined the chase for cochineal -- a chase that lasted for more than three centuries -- a tale of pirates, explorers, alchemists, scientists, and spies unfolds. A Perfect Red evokes with style and verve this history of a grand obsession, of intrigue, empire, and adventure in pursuit of the most desirable color on earth.
“Delightful, rollicking history . . . A fun read, well-supported by extensive research.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Fascinating...Greenfield has given us a superbly researched history of cochineal red, full of angles and tangents, curiosities and arcana.”
-Diane Ackerman, Washington Post Book World
“With A PERFECT RED, she does for [red] what Mark Kurlansky in SALT did for that common commodity.”
“A fascinating story of greed and subterfuge, mixing fashion, folly and ingenuity in equal measure... Written with style and verve.”
-J. H. Elliott, University of Oxford
“A marvelous book... Meticulously researched, this saga will enchant lovers of historical mysteries, fascinating characters, and world economics.”
-Mark Pendergrast, author of UNCOMMON GROUNDS and MIRROR MIRROR
“A gem of accessible history.”
-San Diego Union-Tribune
“[An] intricate history...Greenfield paints a broad historical panorama, never neglecting the intimate, eccentric, and often absurd human details.”
“Greenfield does what the best historical authors do--follows the thread of a story through history without missing a stitch.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer