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The Arcanum: Extraordinary True Story of the Invention of European Porcelain

The Arcanum: Extraordinary True Story of the Invention of European Porcelain

by JanetGleeson (Author)

Synopsis

Imprisoned in a fairy-tale castle and under constant threat of execution by his ruthless captor, an 18th century apothecary struggled to realize the alchemist's dream. His name was Johann Frederick Bottger. But instead of transforming base metal into gold, he was to discover the formula for something even more exotic and elusive, a substance so precious it was known as 'white gold'. And it was a formula for which others were prepared to lie, cheat, steal and even kill to possess. This was the remarkable backdrop to one of the most strange and compelling episodes in European cultural and scientific history; a tale of genius and greed, of demonic cruelty and exquisite beauty, of the best and worst of which man is capable - it is the true story of the invention of European porcelain.

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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 283
Edition: New edition
Publisher: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
Published: 01 Jun 1999

ISBN 10: 0553506927
ISBN 13: 9780553506921

Media Reviews
The number one bestseller
'Breathtaking...a story which has everything: greed, wars, revolution, financial chicanery, industrial sabotage, betrayal and bloodshed' * Guardian *
'The author's background research is as admirable as her storytelling...intended to be the next Longitude, and it deserves to be' * Country Life *
'Extremely readable...worthy of Dumas, a rich brew of jealousy, betrayal and industrial espionage...fascinating' * Sunday Telegraph *
'A remarkably exciting story, told with suitable panache' * Independent on Sunday *
Author Bio
Janet Gleeson was born in Sri Lanka, where her father was a tea planter. After taking a degree in History of Art and English she joined Sotheby's, and later worked for Bonhams Auctioneers. In 1991 she joined Reed Books, where she was responsible for devising and writing Miller's Antiques and Collectibles. She is the author of the Sunday Times non-fiction bestsellers The Arcanum and The Moneymaker. She is also the author of three novels, The Grenadillo Box, The Serpent in the Garden and The Thief-Taker.