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The Radical Potter: Josiah Wedgwood and the Transformation of Britain

by Tristram Hunt

Hardback (unsigned) £25
Published 2nd September 2021, 352 pages
Signed first edition £25
First edition, first printing, signed by the author
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Description

A spectacular new biography of the great designer, entrepreneur, abolitionist and beacon of the Industrial Revolution, from acclaimed historian and Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tristram Hunt

Josiah Wedgwood, perhaps the greatest English potter who ever lived, epitomized the best of his age. From his kilns and workshops in Stoke-on-Trent, he revolutionized the production of ceramics in Georgian Britain by marrying technology with design, manufacturing efficiency and retail flair. He transformed the luxury markets not only of London, Liverpool, Bath and Dublin but of America and the world, and helping to usher in a mass consumer society. Tristram Hunt calls him ‘the Steve Jobs of the eighteenth century’.

But Wedgwood was radical in his mind and politics as well as in his designs. He campaigned for free trade and religious toleration, read pioneering papers to the Royal Society and was a member of the celebrated Lunar Society of Birmingham. Most significantly, he created the ceramic ‘Emancipation Badge’, depicting a slave in chains and inscribed ‘Am I Not a Man and a Brother?’ that became the symbol of the abolitionist movement.

Tristram Hunt’s hugely enjoyable new biography, strongly based on Wedgwood’s notebooks, letters and the words of his contemporaries, brilliantly captures the energy and originality of Wedgwood and his extraordinary contribution to the transformation of eighteenth-century Britain.

Details

The Radical Potter: Josiah Wedgwood and the Transformation of Britain
by Tristram Hunt

ISBN
9780241287897

Publisher
Penguin Books Ltd

Binding
Hardback

Publication date
Sept. 2, 2021

Dimensions
24.0cm x 16.2cm x 3.4cm

Page count
352 pages