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Chronicles and characters of the Stock Exchange

by John Francis

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History of Financial Advice Collection. John Francis, who had produced a well-received and weighty history of the Bank of England in 1847, followed up with this shorter book, first published in 1849, which he offered as “a popular narrative of the money power of England.” Divided into short chapters, Chronicles and Characters took the reader on a chatty and anecdotal tour from the origins of the National Debt in the seventeenth century through to the rapid expansion of the joint-stock economy in the early nineteenth century. With the emphasis on frauds, forgeries, and manias, this is not a rounded history, but reviews praised the volume for providing an accessible guide to the Stock Exchange. Whereas existing volumes on the subject were addressed to specialists, Francis had managed to make the history and functions of the Stock Exchange comprehensible to the layman. The book contributed to the higher profile of the Stock Exchange in the later nineteenth century, increasingly recognized as a culturally significant, if morally ambiguous, element in the economy (cf. David Morier Evans 1859, 1864). Francis’s history was republished in 1851 and 1855, and was translated into French in 1854.
  LibraryofMistakes | Feb 17, 2018 |
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