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The Potter's Hand by A. N. Wilson
  

The Potter's Hand

Historical Fiction   Books of the Month   Literary Fiction   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
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September 2012 Book of the Month.

In his first novel for five years, journalist and historian A.N. Wilson creates an epic novel, with an impressive cast of real and imagined characters. Set in the late 18th century, a time of industrialisation, revolution, slavery and colonialism. A commission from the Empress of Russia for a thousand-piece dinner service for her Frog Palace sets in train a series of events that will make Wedgewood a name and a dynasty, including Charles Darwin and Ralph Vaughan Williams, that will be remembered for generations. A fascinating look at the lives of important historical figures at a turning point in British history.

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Synopsis

The Potter's Hand by A. N. Wilson

In 1774, Josiah Wedgwood, master craftsman possessed with a burning scientific vision, embarks upon the thousand piece Frog Service for Catherine the Great. Josiah's nephew Tom journeys to America to buy clay from the Cherokee for this exquisite china. Tom is caught up in the American rebellion, and falls for a Cherokee woman who will come to play a crucial role in Josiah's late, great creation: the Portland Vase. As the family fortune is made, and Josiah's entrepreneurial brilliance creates an empire that will endure for generations, it is his daughter Sukey, future mother of Charles Darwin, who bears clear-eyed witness. A novel of epic scope, rich in warmth, intellect and humanity, The Potter's Hand explores the lives and loves of one of Britain's greatest families, whose travails are both ordinary - births, deaths, marriages, opium addiction, depression - and utterly extraordinary.

Reviews

Wilson offers a sweeping portrait of the European Enlightenment and the foundation of an intellectual dynasty destined to include Charles Darwin and Ralph Vaughn Williams in its ranks... All of this intellectualism is held together by a strong narrative... Behind the calm equipoise of Wedgwood's neoclassical designs, a global storm of ideas and inventions raged. It has a centre in Stoke-on-Trent and an icon in Wedgwood. Wilson brings it all to life. -- Tristram Hunt * Financial Times * The Potter's Hand is a rich and rather wonderful novel... It is one of these books which gives the impression of having matured in the imagination for years. One can't, in a short review, do justice to its abundance. It is a cornucopia of a novel... wide in scope, rich in detail, and deep in understanding. * Scotsman * Full of fascinating historical detail... [A. N. Wilson's] most obvious fictional flourish, which sees a Cherokee transported to the potteries, is as incredible as it is romantic... a rather magnificent achievement. * Daily Mail * This is a splendid story, vividly told. * Economist * A. N. Wilson bases his first novel for five years, The Potter's Hand, on the Wedgwood Dynasty, and delivers their extraordinary adventures and achievements in business with customary aplomb. * Bookseller's Choice * Excellent historic fiction based around the family of Josiah Wedgwood in the period between the US revolution and the French revolution. An interesting man in a fascinating period makes for a compelling read. * Bookbag *


About the Author

A. N. Wilson

A.N. Wilson grew up in Staffordshire, where his father was Managing Director of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons. He was educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a prominent position in the world of literature and journalism. He is a prolific and award-winning biographer and celebrated novelist. His last novel Winnie and Wolf, was longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize. He lives in North London.

Author photo © Magali Delporte

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Book Info

Publication date

1st September 2012

Author

A. N. Wilson

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Publisher

Atlantic Books

Format

Hardback
512 pages

Categories

Historical Fiction
Books of the Month
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9781848879515

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