A Perfect Red

  • by Amy Butler Greenfield
  • Narrated by Suzanne Toren
  • 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A Perfect Red recounts the colorful history of cochineal, a legendary red dye that was once one of the world's most precious commodities. Treasured by the ancient Mexicans, cochineal was sold in the great Aztec marketplaces, where it attracted the attention of the Spanish conquistadors in 1519. 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. Desperate to find their own sources of the elusive dye, the English, French, Dutch, and other Europeans tried to crack the enigma of cochineal. Did it come from a worm, a berry, a seed? Could it be stolen from Mexico and transplanted to their own colonies? Pirates, explorers, alchemists, scientists, and spies - all joined the chase for cochineal, a chase that lasted more than three centuries. A Perfect Red tells their stories - true-life tales of mystery, empire, and adventure, in pursuit of the most desirable color on earth.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

History of a peculiar substance through the ages

This is a well researched, well written, and perfectly narrated history of the color red and of the first widely available red dye, Cochineal.

Very informative, the book includes the history of the relevant times, so as to be accessible even to those who might not be knowledgeable on kings and empires of the past centuries.

Mostly entertaining, except in a few boring places. Recommended if you're interested in the middle ages, the European conquest of the Americas, mysteries, espionage, and the actual PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.

The narration is excellent, always clear, including great pronunciation of all the Spanish, French, and Italian names.
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- Tobia

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-16-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios