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Customer Review

on 24 May 2010
This is a fascinating book by James C Whorton which illustrates just how dangerous it was in Victorian times, with virulent poisons readily on sale and obtainable. One of the worst was Scheele's Green, a dye which produced a lovely green colour on items like wallpaper, fumes from which could be very debilitating and on occasion fatal. The book discloses that Napoleon probably did not die of arsenical poisoning, although he, Josephine and their son were found to have had arsenic residue in their hair over a number of years, probably via Scheele's. Illustrations are largely confined to line drawings. A must for Victorian scholars and anyone who likes true-crime fact, although I found the writing a bit pedestrian, which was disappointing and resulted in the loss of a star. Worth buying though.
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