From the author of The Discovery of Chocolate, a romantic historical quest set in Renaissance Florence and in China, surrounding the search for ultramarine.
The Colour of Heaven is the fictional account of a young man's journey into 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 his way, young hero, Paolo, suffers the torments of unfulfilled love before returning to his anxious family in Venice, where he also plays a part in the early development of lenses and spectacles.
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 Winchester
James Runcie is an award-winning film-maker. He has worked for BBC Arts and Classical Music for the last ten years but will soon be joining Oxford Television on a three film deal for Channel 4. He was part of the original team that created The Late Show and he has also worked in theatre. He has scripted three films for the BBC and reviewed books for Daily Telegraph and written articles for various magazines including She, Country Living, Evening Standard, Observer.