Valerie Hamilton (a published student)
January 2016
Zero Books

About the publication

This little book tells the truthful story of how the Bank of England actually came into being. It is a story of pirates, treasure, random good fortune and sheer determination. This is an institution founded on
risk, daring and imagination. The tale is entangled with that of the early novel, in particular the fortunes of one Moll Flanders, an entrepreneur of sexual relations in the growing London market for capital in the early eighteenth century.

These accounts are woven together with the life-stories of Daniel Defoe and William Paterson, founders of two of the key institutions of our modern age, the novel and the corporation. This reveals connections which are nowadays forgotten, and which the fractured specialisms of ‘Literature’, ‘History’ and ‘Business’ can rarely see.

These tales are set against the backdrop of the long eighteenth century – fervent years of inventiveness, high-risk gambling, and political revolution. The authors show that the dark arts of deceit, and the credibility of fictions, are requirements for any creative enterprise, and that all organizations are fictions.

Co-written with Martin Parker, Professor of Organization and Culture at the University of Leicester School of Management, and author or editor of sixteen other books. He has worked at Staffordshire, Keele and Warwick Universities. He writes within the broad area of ‘critical management studies’, and is interested in practices and representations of alternative ways of organizing.


An engaging and distinctive book about the links between the history of the novel and the Bank of England.

Professor Nicholas Royle, Literature, University of Sussex

A bold and exciting fusion of literary and fi nancial history.

David Kynaston, Author and Social Historian

Provides literary enjoyment and real insight into the contemporary world in equal measure. It’s a treasure.

Professor Gibson Burrell, Management, University of Leicester