A World of its Own 1815-1890
The first ever comprehensive history of the City: volume one of a three-volume work covering the period from 1815 to the Big Bang.
A World of Its Own tells the story of the City of London's nineteenth century ascent to its position as the world's leading international financial centre. We witness the rise of the merchant banks, the growth of the Stock Exchange, the internationalism of the money market, and the characters behind these developments, like the mercurial Nathan Rothschild or the dour Joshua Bates.
High history is interwoven with high drama: the burning of the Royal Exchange on a snowy night in 1838, the hectic making of fortunes from South American guano; the Baring crisis of 1890, when the city's most respected house was rescued by its keenest rival. A World of Its Own is at once a powerful narrative, peopled with extraordinary characters, and a brilliant work of social and economic history.
“Exceptionally readable...a colourful narrative full of well-judged extracts from contemporary material”
“An absorbing read, full of good quotations and riveting anecdote... A significant piece of scholarship”
English Historical Review
“It would be difficult to conceive a more lucid or entertaining study of a subject both immensely complex and of the greatest historical importance”
“Charlotte Brontë once wrote: "At the West End you may be amused, but in the City you are deeply excited." A better blurb for this book is hard to imagine... Wonderfully vivid”
Mail on Sunday
“It's rare to be able to say that a historical book is positively life-enhancing but David Kynaston, in his vivacious yet measured book, has proved that he is a rare kind of writer”
Times Literary Supplement