The Colours of Our Memories
August 2012, Polity
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"In this lovely memoir, Pastoureau shares some of the colour associations that signposted his childhood and young adulthood. Embracing the belief that our identities depend on the memories we accumulate, Pastoureau elegantly shows how memories themselves are shaped by colour."
Times Higher Education
"The ubiquity of colour in modern society blinds us to its cultural significance. In his dazzling new book - a kaleidoscopic mix of historical research and personal memoir - Michel Pastoureau brilliantly reflects on what colour means, and what colours mean, from the underwear drawer to the TV screen."
Jonathon Keats, author of Virtual Words and Forged
"In this book the distinguished medievalist Michel Pastoureau uses his memoirs to frame reflections on a variety of historical topics that include the history of jeans, the history of signalling and the language of colour in ancient Greece. The author carries his learning lightly and writes with fluency, grace and humour."
Peter Burke, University of Cambridge
"A wonderful book made up of personal memories, those of a generation born after the war, of notes taken at the time and of scholarly explanations. Thanks to Michel Pastoureau and to the generosity of his erudition and clarity of his analyses, our life suddenly seems much richer."
"This unusual autobiographical reflection is consistent with Michel Pastoureau’s reputation as a leading historian of colours. Here he draws readers into his distinctive way of thinking about the role that colours play in our memory, showing how our memories open up new fields of research: one rediscovers the objects of everyday life and of mass consumption, the cinema, literature and art, not to mention his cherished theme of heraldry. Through these reflections the reader retraces the history of colours and their theorization in the West. This book is a delight and it will awaken in readers a new curiosity about the world around them."
Etudes: Revue de Culture Contemporaine
"the writing is informative, often amusing, and delightfully readable."
Australian Journal of Politics and History