24 September 2015, The Tablet

Blanc slate – The Jesuit, the Quaker and an obsession with porcelain

by Michael Walsh

The White Road: a pilgrimage of sortsEDMUND DE WAAL Edmund de Waal’s The Hare With Amber Eyes, the story of a collection of netsuke owned by his relatives, was a surprise best-seller. As many more of us have eaten off porcelain plates than have collected these Japanese trinkets, this account of china clay should claim an even greater readership. It deserves to. It is an even better book. I already have it marked down, should anyone ask come December, as my book of the year.But then, I am biased. I grew up in the Potteries. As a sixth-former working on the post at Christmas, I delivered letters to ceramic manufacturers. I have pictures of pot banks dotted around my house. My relatives on my mother’s side owned a firm making bricks and tiles and – I fondly imagined &ndash
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