Redheads forever

My eldest daughter Rebecca always chastises me when I say I no longer really work on red hair genetics by pointing out that nobody is interested in anything else I have done or will do (but I have recently written a review of some pigment genetics evolution jointly with Rosalind Harding, and another review of some pigment stuff here [no paywall]). Youth is not always wrong. Anyway, just a plug for a  book written by Ian Cook. No, I haven’t read it yet, but I will. It looks interesting for those of us who have become fascinated by some of the non-genetic aspects of red hair. You can read more here and buy it from Amazon here. Blurb as follows:-

Redheads have always attracted attention – desired, envied, pitied, ridiculed, even persecuted. Now the sacrifices begin…In 1921, in the ruined city of Carthage near Tunis, a red-haired French archaeologist hears the cries of long-dead children as he stumbles upon a legendary sacrificial site. Shortly afterwards, he is viciously attacked by a hawk. Back in present-day London, flame-haired journalist Rebecca Burns investigates strange and macabre events which seem to be directed against redheads worldwide. Amidst all this the mysterious and chilling Dr Neferatu makes his appearance…with Rebecca as his prey. Helped by young astrophysicist Dr Jim Cavendish and Professor Larry Burton, an authority on ancient civilisations, Rebecca resolutely pursues her story from North Africa to Easter Island and finally to Scotland with its magnificent Neolithic monuments dedicated to the sun and the moon. Together they are drawn into an age-old feud…a feud that threatens the very existence of redheads everywhere. Redhead, which is inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, will appeal to fans of science fiction as well as to redheads and their admirers.

On this theme don’t forget Marion Roach’s terrific book which has some pertinent sketches of me and colleagues at work (The Roots of Desire: The Myth meaning and sexual desire of red hair)

Post by Jonathan Rees

Clinical academic and skin watcher at the University of Edinburgh

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