The colour spectrum

Pink for boys, blue for girls and a worldwide mania for mauve

It would seem, if recent publications are anything to go by, that we have an insatiable appetite for this subject. A quick search of books on colour throws up six titles in just the past three years, a further half dozen published as a set in February this year, another volume in a series by the Sorbonne academic Michel Pastoureau and now these two. For James Fox, Cambridge academic and television art historian, a fascination with colour came when, as a six-year-old, he saw a squashed iridescent insect, and one gets the feeling that this book has been quietly simmering at the back of his mind ever since. ‘Read it,