The Arcanum: The Extraordinary True Story

The Arcanum: The Extraordinary True Story

by Janet Gleeson, Janet Gleeson
2.5 2


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Arcanum: The Extraordinary True Story 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This interesting story begins in 1708 when the rich ate their meals from pottery or metal plates, and the poor had a wooden bowl, if they were lucky. The luxury-loving Augustus the Strong collected exotic Chines porcelains. He realized that he could bolster his sagging fortunes if he could make Chinese paste and sell the results all over Europe. Just to increase his collections with his very own porcelains would add to his prestige! This novel is the fascinating story of Johann Frederick Bottger, who figured out how to combine sillicon and clay to bake into porcelain that would be as hard and brilliant as the Chinese product. He is obsessed with getting the formula right. Augustus lures Bottger to his court at Dresden but when the work doen't seem to be going well, keeps him captive. At last, the magical formula works. With success at hand, the thoughtless Augustus appoints bureaucrats to supervise the factory, and Boettger is ignored. There is a great sense of the Baroque age in Europe and fine detail about the quest to duplicate the quality of Chinese wares. I think that Ms Gleeson set out to write a biography of Bottger when her agent or publisher said that a novel on this subject would sell better. Either way, this is a brilliant story of how we came to be eating in Meissen plates from Dresden instead of tin or wood. Recommended to people who like to learn things!