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Download The Arcanum Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Arcanum Audiobook, by Janet Gleeson
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (227 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Janet Gleeson Narrator: David McCallum Publisher: Hachette Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 1999 ISBN:
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Even at the dawn of the Age of Reason, some of the finest minds in Europe were still pursuing the alchemist's dream of discovering the arcanum, the secret formula for turning base metals into gold. The quest attracted brilliant intellects, charlatans and princes, all drawn in by the promise of unlimited wealth. By the eighteenth century, the quest for that arcanum was beginning to give way to another: the secret formula for making porcelain, the exquisite ceramic that the Chinese and Japanese had been perfecting for one thousand years, so precious that vast fortunes were spent on it. To own the secret of its making would be to command wealth and prestige to an unimaginable degree. An extraordinary episode in culture and scientific history comes to life in this fascinating story of genius, greed, and exquisite beauty. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 2/12/2014

    " I didn't realise the history of porcelain was so dramatic, and this book made a subject I didn't have much interest in interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 12/29/2013

    " Rob, did you read this one - a great read on history of porcelain in Europe - starting with Meissen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elisabeth | 12/26/2013

    " This is truly an extraordinary story. It has everything, greed, suspense, rags to riches and it is all true. The best way to learn history, even if you are not a fan of Meissen Porcelain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 12/26/2013

    " A 'true' fairytale about the discovery of porcelain in Europe. History and alchemy. I liked it but it is a bit dry .... you have to get into the porcelain-magic mindset, maintain your sense of wonder, to get the most out of this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 12/22/2013

    " Good story and well written. I enjoyed how well she defined the individuals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 12/22/2013

    " Whoa, super fascinating tale! I never imagined porcelain had such a fascinating history! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 12/14/2013

    " An engrossing history of THE hot company of the early 18th century. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nora Harris | 11/25/2013

    " You wouldn't think a book about the making of porcelain in Germany would be interesting, but its FANTASTIC. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloria | 11/6/2013

    " Great story, I love this author! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 11/4/2013

    " Extremely interesting. If you want to know the history of porcelain, read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 GWC | 10/22/2013

    " Concerning porcelain, it is another "the _____ that changed the world" type of history book, for which I am a great sucker. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 linda | 10/21/2013

    " Who knew the history of porcelain could be so interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 10/18/2013

    " This is the history of porcelain in the West which resulted in Meissen art porcelain . It's a real page turner (believe it or not!) replete with mystery, suspense, industrial espionage, poisonings, etc. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/6/2013

    " Much more interesting than a book about porcelain ought to be. The prose is a little clunky, but the story is worthwhile. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Bickers | 8/17/2013

    " This is the book that got me into small histories. This is one of those true stories that is unbelievable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bobbie Darbyshire | 8/14/2013

    " Pedestrian writing. Repetitious story. Learned a few interesting facts from the blurb and introduction, but the book itself was very dull. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bret | 7/2/2013

    " Where does the history of porcelain and alchemy meet? Here. This is a true history, well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne Favreau | 3/19/2013

    " I was completely fascinated by the story. I read it in 2005 so I'll need to reread it to write a proper review but it's a testament to how good it was that it is one of the first book I think of when someone ask me what I like to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carly | 10/14/2012

    " Absolutely interesting! This covers the history of the creation and trade of porcelain recipes in Europe. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa | 11/23/2011

    " It was written like a narrative so it made something that could have been boring, very fun and interesting. Surprising and little known story, a great read for history fans or anyone who just wants a good story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rozza | 11/3/2011

    " this was hard going for me, as the main charactor was always in and out of favour. I didn't symapthise with the charactor and unless you are very interested in the history of porcelain it is a book well left on the shelf. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jill Kandel | 10/29/2011

    " 1700, a nineteen year old alchemist, a greedy king, and a quest to make gold which leads to a discovery: porcelain! I love intriguing combination, science, and story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben Francisco | 9/14/2011

    " Fascinating history of how porcelain was created in medieval Europe at a time when all people were looking for the "philospher's stone". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kristin | 7/8/2011

    " An intriguing book. It tells the story of Meissen porcelain and its creator. This is the sort of "niche social history" story that I really dig. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 6/27/2011

    " How England got the secret of making fine porcelain...sounds boring but it was interesting! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gooby | 5/5/2011

    " Great read. Another reason to feel sad for Dresden. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 1/27/2011

    " How England got the secret of making fine porcelain...sounds boring but it was interesting! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 7/21/2010

    " Much more interesting than a book about porcelain ought to be. The prose is a little clunky, but the story is worthwhile. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 6/13/2010

    " I didn't realise the history of porcelain was so dramatic, and this book made a subject I didn't have much interest in interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elisabeth | 6/7/2009

    " This is truly an extraordinary story. It has everything, greed, suspense, rags to riches and it is all true. The best way to learn history, even if you are not a fan of Meissen Porcelain. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 linda | 4/11/2009

    " Who knew the history of porcelain could be so interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 4/11/2009

    " Good story and well written. I enjoyed how well she defined the individuals. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 3/7/2009

    " This is the history of porcelain in the West which resulted in Meissen art porcelain . It's a real page turner (believe it or not!) replete with mystery, suspense, industrial espionage, poisonings, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gloria | 2/14/2009

    " Great story, I love this author! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 2/3/2009

    " Rob, did you read this one - a great read on history of porcelain in Europe - starting with Meissen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiffany | 12/2/2008

    " Whoa, super fascinating tale! I never imagined porcelain had such a fascinating history! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 3/29/2008

    " Fascinating history of how porcelain was created in medieval Europe at a time when all people were looking for the "philospher's stone". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa | 2/2/2008

    " It was written like a narrative so it made something that could have been boring, very fun and interesting. Surprising and little known story, a great read for history fans or anyone who just wants a good story. "

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