From the author of THE DISCOVERY OF CHOCOLATE – a romantic historical quest set in Renaissance Venice and China surrounding the search for ultramarine.
THE COLOUR OF HEAVEN is a fictional account of a young man who travelled to what are now Afghanistan and China to discover lapis lazuli, the precious stone that when turned into ultramarine changed the history of painting – allowing artists to abandon gold as a background and open up depth, landscape and perspective with the most beautiful shade of blue.
Along the way, Paolo suffers the torments of unfulfilled love before he returns to his anxious family in Venice, where he also plays a part in the early development of lenses and spectacles!
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‘The book has a winning charm – an atmosphere of the Arabian Nights or a benevolent fairy tale. … Runcie’s real gift – like that of his appealing young hero – is a wonderful feel for colour.’ Salley Vickers, The Times
‘An exotic, action-packed tour of the 14th-century world. Runcie has taken a small nugget of history and polished it to delicious effect, capturing the flavour of everyday life in long-vanished societies… Both charming and touching.’ Max Davidson, Sunday Telegraph
‘Tender and gently comic, the novel shares much of the serenity and luminosity of the painting at its heart.’ Michael Arditti, Independent
‘What a wonderful book it is. A lush, gorgeous novel, rich in hue and flowing with historical atmosphere and a sense of exploration; it is pure delight to read. A vivid story, brilliantly told.’ Oxford Times
‘An enjoyable tale. Runcie gives us just the right amount of local colour without ever trying to impress us with his cleverness. This is a simple, charming tale and in that is its strength.’ Church Times
Praise for THE DISCOVERY OF CHOCOLATE:
‘As intoxicating and addictive as the substance it describes. The novel is a triumph of inspired imagination’ Financial Times
‘A work of engaging simplicity which reads well, has plenty of light and shade and never patronises the reader. The potent appeal of chocolate…is vividly captured. Mouth-watering descriptions of food litter the text’ Sunday Telegraph
‘A sensual delight…elegantly written and unashamed fun’ Joanne Harris, The Times
‘His treasure of a book, fantastic and delicious and dreamily erotic by turns, will transmute your yearning for the bitter water into a craving from which you will, quite happily, never recover’ Simon WinchesterFrom the Publisher:
Moving, thought-provoking and spectacular, the colour of heaven combines art, history, travel, philosophy and romance to create a unique imaginary journey that leads straight to the heart.
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Book Description 2004-02-02., 2004. Book Condition: New. HarperCollins. New Ed. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 304pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1757554