Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Children's Book

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The Children's Book

A Novel

By A.S. Byatt

The Children's Book

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About this Book

Beyond the Book

Studio Pottery
One of the main characters in The Children's Book is Phillip Warren, apprentice to eccentric master of ceramics Benedict Fludd. While Fludd is a fictional creation, the kind of pottery being made in his house is in a style that came to be known, in the early 20th century, as Studio Pottery - that is to say pottery made by artists working alone or in small groups, producing unique items or small quantities of similar items.

In the wake of the industrialization of pottery in the previous centuries, those who created unique items from earthen- and stone-ware struggled to have their work accepted as art. Some of the leaders of the Studio Pottery tradition were William Staite Murray, Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew. Were Phillip Warren a real person, he would have been making his pots at the same time as Murray, the earliest of the studio potters.


William Staite Murray was born in London in 1881, and had his own pottery there in the...

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