'Not an ordinary bank, but a great engine of state,' Adam Smith declared of the Bank of England as long ago as 1776. The Bank is now over 320 years old, and throughout almost all that time it has been central to British history. Yet to most people, despite its increasingly high profile, its history is largely unknown.
Till Time's Last Sand by David Kynaston is the first authoritative and accessible single-volume history of the Bank of England, opening with the Bank's founding in 1694 in the midst of the English financial revolution and closing in 2013 with Mark Carney succeeding Mervyn King as Governor.
This is a history that fully addresses the important debates over the years about the Bank's purpose and modes of operation and that covers such aspects as monetary and exchange-rate policies and relations with government, the City and other central banks. Yet this is also a narrative that does full justice to the leading episodes and characters of the Bank, while taking care to evoke a real sense of the place itself, with its often distinctively domestic side.
Deploying an array of piquant and revealing material from the Bank's rich archives, Till Time's Last Sand is a multi-layered and insightful portrait of one of our most important national institutions, from one of our leading historians.
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About the Author
David Kynaston was born in Aldershot in 1951. He has been a professional historian since 1973 and has written eighteen books, including The City of London (1994-2001), a widely acclaimed four-volume history, and WG's Birthday Party, an account of the Gentleman v. Players match at Lord's in July 1898. He is the author of Austerity Britain 1945-51 and Family Britain 1951-57, the first two titles in a series of books covering the history of post-war Britain (1945-1979) under the collective title 'Tales of a New Jerusalem'. He is currently a visiting professor at Kingston University.
Table of Contents
Prologue: It Must Now Necessarily be a Bank 1
Part 1 1694-1815
1 Services to the Nation 11
2 A Great Engine of State 33
3 A Steady and Unremitting Attention 59
4 An Elderly Lady in the City 77
Part 2 1815-1914
5 All the Obloquy 107
6 The Effects of Tight Lacing 143
7 Matters of Conduct and Behaviour 173
8 Money Will Not Manage Itself 201
9 Wonderfully Youthful in Spirit - Considering 233
Part 3 1914-46
10 The Kipling Man 277
11 Look Busy Anyway 327
12 The Dogs Bark 353
Part 4 1946-97
13 Not a Study Group 401
14 Honest Money 447
15 Entering from Stage Right 489
16 Sunny Offs 529
17 Serious Misgivings 569
18 Welcome and Long Overdue 635
Postscript: You just Don't Know When 729
Picture Credits 852