In terms of hair color, redheads are only 2-3% of the worlds population when it comes to hair color. But that does not mean that all of the myths revolve around the titian haired set are true.
Jacky Colliss Harvey’s new book, Red: A History Of The Redhead, follows the history and myth of the redhead. Tracing the genetic and social history of redhead from ancient civilizations to our modern era, the author takes the reader through the various images that the redhead has cultivated. Mary Magdalene and Judas were both portrayed as redheads. Queen Elizabeth I made red hair acceptable and fashionable during her reign. Redheads, depending on the stories one believe are clownish, fiery or scatterbrained. Female redheads are fiery temptresses. Male redheads are nerdy and goofy.
I absolutely adored this book. The author has written her book in a way that is both educational, but it does not have the feel of a dry college textbook. It is not just for redheads to validate their feelings and self esteem, but an interesting study of how genetics and social history can impact how we view the world.
I recommend it.