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The Arcanum : The Extraordinary True Story
The Arcanum The Extraordinary True Story
Author: Janet Gleeson Review Since the middle ages, Western Europeans have practiced alchemy, a primitive form of chemistry, in the great hope of transforming base metal into gold. In the early 18th century, a second great secret puzzled Western Europe's early scientists: how to make porcelain. Recently arrived from the Orient, porcelain quickly became a s...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780446674843
ISBN-10: 0446674842
Publication Date: 1/15/2000
Pages: 336
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 6 ratings
Publisher: Warner Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed The Arcanum : The Extraordinary True Story on + 3352 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
An extremely interesting book. So much so, and so full of the wild doings of people, intrigues, and cliff-hanging problems, that people who prefer fiction will enjoy this book. Made me realize that although knowledge and ways of living may change, people do not. The book blurb says, "...a nineteen year old alchemist named Johann Frederick Bottger, who boastful claims of gold-making caught the attention of the greedy king. Imprisoned...Bottger was commanded to find the arcanum [recipe: in this case, to make gold]or suffer deadly consequences. But salvation for the young alchemist would come in unexpected form...Bottger would stumble on the formula for another precious commodity-the beautifully precious translucent ceramic from China called porcelain." Keep in mind that what we now pay cents for they paid kingdoms for.
reviewed The Arcanum : The Extraordinary True Story on + 211 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I found the book interesting, but redundant in places. The story of the intriegue and subterfuge involved in making porcelain was something I had never known in such depth; now I understand why it is so prized and collectable.
It's a pretty quick read and at the end, you will know more than you ever thought there was to know about the porcelain wars.
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