Imprisoned in a fairy-tale castle and under constant threat of execution by his ruthless captor an 18th century apothecary struggled to realize the alchemist's dream. His name was Johann Frederick Bottger. But instead of transforming base metal into gold he was to discover the formula for something even more exotic and elusive, a substance so precious it was known as 'white gold'. And it was a formula for which others were prepared to lie, cheat, steal and even kill to possess.
This was the remarkable backdrop to one of the most strange and compelling episodes in European cultural and scientific history; a tale of genius and greed, of demonic cruelty and exquisite beauty, of the best and worst of which man is capable - it is the true story of the invention of European porcelain.
'Breathtaking...a story which has everything: greed, wars, revolution, financial chicanery, industrial sabotage, betrayal and bloodshed'
'The author's background research is as admirable as her storytelling...intended to be the next Longitude, and it deserves to be'
'Extremely readable...worthy of Dumas, a rich brew of jealousy, betrayal and industrial espionage...fascinating'
'A remarkably exciting story, told with suitable panache'