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THIS 500-pager, with 600 illustrations, is described by the author, ex-archaeologist at London’s Guildhall Museum, thence to Virginia and the Colonial Williamsburg as director of their Department of Archaeology, and whose collection of everyday ceramics this is, as “a panoramic view of pottery in Britain and her colonies from the landing of the Romans to the bad intentions of the Germans in 1939”.

Noël Hume has a passion for reconstructing lives from bits and pieces of crockery and has concentrated on earthenwares, stonewares and the porcelains commonly found in archaeological excavations; from burial urns and chamber pots to witch bottles, by way of graybears, and London garbage to loving cups and married pieces. Cultural and political history form the narrative and all written with dash.