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.
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.
at the dawn of the Age of Reason, some of the finest minds in the 18th century Europe were pursuing the alchemist's dream; to discover the secret formula for transforming base metal into gold.
This non-fiction book is far more interesting than its title may suggest. It's about the history of alchemy.