The Arcanum: The Extraordinary True Story (Used Book) - Janet Gleeson
The extravagant Augustus the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, had an insatiable appetite for amassing objects and artifacts of whose beauty—unlike that of his many mistresses—he would never tire. Like a peacock, he fanned his opulent feathers in a show of political dominance, while his palace grew into a wonderland of sugar plums and jewel-encrusted costumes. There was only one problem: His funds were dwindling.
The immediate answer seemed to lie with a nineteen-year-old alchemist named Johann Frederick Böttger, whose boastful claims of gold-making caught the attention of the greedy king. Imprisoned in a horrible dungeon, Böttger was commanded to find the arcanum . . . or suffer the deadly consequences. But salvation for the young alchemist would come in an unexpected form. After years of failing to make gold, Böttger would stumble on the formula for another precious commodity—the beautifully translucent ceramic from China called porcelain.
A true story of passion, greed, and obsession to stir the imagination and, like lead into gold, bring the events of a distant age magically to life.