An amalgamation of fiction and biography, The Bluest of Blues tells the life story of Anne Atkins, botanist and photographer, whose Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions is widely regarded as the first book of photographs ever published and provides a diligent survey and classification of British seaweed.

Encouraged by her scientist father, Atkins began by drawing specimens before learning to use a camera, and Sir John Herschel introduced her to the cyanotype process, which used sunlight to create blue images.

Fiona Robinson reproduces some of these alongside her own delicate, scintillating multimedia illustrations, almost exclusively in shades of blue. Her book celebrates the life and work of a little-known and, it seems, very modest female pioneer whose contributions to science are only just now being recognised.

The Bluest of Blues, by Fiona Robinson, Abrams, RRP£12.99, 48 pages

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