Lapidarium - The Secret Lives of Stones - Hettie Judah

Penguin Press


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Lapidarium - The Secret Lives of Stones by Hettie Judah / ISBN 9780143137412 / 336-page hardback, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, published by Penguin Books


Inspired by the lapidaries of the ancient world, this book is a beautifully designed collection of true stories about sixty different stones that have influenced our shared history

The earliest scientists ground and processed minerals in a centuries-long quest for a mythic stone that would prolong human life. Michelangelo climbed mountains in Tuscany searching for the sugar-white marble that would yield his sculptures. Catherine the Great wore the wealth of Russia stitched in gemstones onto the front of her bodices.

Through the realms of art, myth, geology, philosophy and power, the story of humanity can be told through the minerals and materials that have allowed us to evolve and create. From the Taiwanese national treasure known as the Meat-Shaped Stone to Malta’s prehistoric “fat lady” temples carved in globigerina limestone to the amethyst crystals still believed to have healing powers, Lapidarium is a jewel box of sixty far-flung stones and the stories that accompany them. Together, they explore how human culture has formed stone, and the roles stone has played in forming human culture.

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