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Carolyn Purnell, Ph.D., spends far too much time thinking about how the color magenta contributed to climate change and why 18th-century humanitarians were obsessed with tobacco enemas. As an award-winning historian and writer, her goal is to make the past clear, curious, and relevant to modern readers.

Her book The Sensational Past: How the Enlightenment Changed the Way We Used Our Senses (W. W. Norton, 2017) received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, as well as positive reviews in Wall Street Journal and other national and regional publications.

She has two projects in the works: a book on the history of color and an unconventional biography that explores the topics of identity and truth.

You can find her at, on Twitter, or @inventingcolor on Instagram.

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