This, the first book in English on black basalt for over eighty years, reflects an increasing interest in and demand for these unusual black wares. The prominence of Josiah Wedgwood as a developer of this material ensured his factory was the market leader when basalt was at its most fashionable, towards the latter part of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, but many other factories produced what appear to be almost identical products. Hitherto there has been no definitive catalogue or means of identification but Diana Edwards' research has gone a long way to make what distinctions are feasible. Over 170 other factories are noted as makers of black basalt, and the author gives much new information on their histories and products. She also examines the historical antecedents of English black basalt and discusses unmarked and unidentified wares and Continental and foreign blackware manufacturers. The twenty-four colour and 501 black and white illustrations (many of which have never before been published) provide an invaluable guide to the identification of wares from different factories and ensure that this will be the standard reference for many years to come.