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A relentless and restless pioneer in the arts, chemistry and middle-class tastemaking, and a reformer in slavery and industrial working conditions, Wedgwood is presented as a kind of ceramic superman, whose own personal skill at the wheel held people in thrall even as an old man. But Wilson the aesthete dominates proceedings.
Himself the product of ten generations of pottery workers (‘Though I… had a different destiny,’ he simpers), he clearly identifies with the Wedgwood blueprint to a hilarious degree, and quite possibly fancies himself in a powdered bagwig and nankeen britches, cowing all Stoke-on-Trent with his intellectual stylings. Could be the new Meades if he put his mind to it.