Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Tycoon of Taste

Tycoon of Taste

Josiah Wedgwood, Potter to the World

Tristram Hunt

Metropolitan Books

BUY THE BOOK

From one of Britain’s leading historians and the director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, a scintillating biography of Josiah Wedgwood, the celebrated eighteenth-century potter, entrepreneur, and abolitionist

Wedgwood pottery, such as the celebrated blue of Jasperware, is famous worldwide. Jane Austen bought it, and wrote of it in her novels; Empress Catherine II of Russia ordered hundreds of pieces for her palace; British diplomats hauled it with them on their first-ever mission to Peking, audaciously planning to impress China with their china. But the life of Josiah Wedgwood is far richer than just his accomplishments in ceramics. He was a leader of the Industrial Revolution, a pioneering businessman, a tireless scientific experimenter, a cultural tastemaker, and an ardent abolitionist. And he did it all in the face of chronic disability and relentless pain: a childhood bout with smallpox eventually led to the amputation of his right leg.

As acclaimed historian Tristram Hunt puts it in this lively, vivid biography, Wedgwood was the Steve Jobs of the eighteenth century: a difficult, brilliant, creative entrepreneur who personal drive and extraordinary gifts changed the way we work and live. Drawing on a rich array of letters, journals, and historical documents, Tycoon of Taste brings us the story a singular man, his dazzling contributions to design and innovation, and his remarkable global impact.

Tristram Hunt

Tristram Hunt is the director of the Victoria & Albert Museum and one of Britain’s best-known historians. His previous books, which include Cities of Empire: The British Colonies and the Creation of the Urban World and Marx’s General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels, have been published in more than a dozen languages. Until taking on the leadership of the V&A, he served as Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent, the home of Wedgwood’s potteries. A senior lecturer in British history at Queen Mary University of London, he appears regularly on BBC radio and television.

image of Tristram Hunto
Tom Whittaker

Read Author Bio at London Speaker Bureau

Read the author in The Guardian

Metropolitan Books

Latest on Facebook

LATEST ON TWITTER