My work explores the social, political, and legal dimensions of economic change in Britain since the 1700s, focusing on the rise of big business in the nineteenth century. I have published on subjects ranging from the early history of corporate governance and the regulation and punishment of commercial fraud, to the history of financial reporting and literary representations of commerce.
My first monograph, Creating Capitalism, won the 2008 Economic History Society Prize for best first monograph in Economic and Social History; my second, Shareholder Democracies (co-authored with Mark Freeman and Robin Pearson), was published by University of Chicago Press at the start of 2012; my third, Boardroom Scandal, is in press with Oxford University Press and will appear in early 2013.
'Law, Politics and the Governance of English and Scottish Joint-Stock Companies, 1600-1850', Business History, forthcoming, 2013 (with Mark Freeman and Robin Pearson).
'Watchdogs or Apologists? Financial Journalism and Company Fraud in Early Victorian Britain', Historical Research, 85 (Nov. 2012), 632-50.
'Review of Periodical Literature Published in 2010: 1850-1945', Economic History Review, 65 (Feb. 2012), 354-67 (with Kate Bradley).
'Criminalising Fraud: Victorian Responses to Company Scandals', Company Lawyer, 32 (Oct. 2011), 291-6.
'Numbers, Character and Trust in Early Victorian Britain: The Independent West Middlesex Fire and Life Assurance Company Fraud', in Tom Crook and Glen O'Hara (eds), Statistics and the Public Sphere: Numbers and the People in Modern Britain, c. 1800-2000 (Routledge, 2011), 185-202.
'Review of Periodical Literature Published in 2009: 1850-1945', Economic History Review 64 (Feb. 2011), 289-98 (with Kate Bradley).
'Review of Periodical Literature Published in 2008: 1850-1945', Economic History Review 63 (Feb. 2010), 219-27 (with Kate Bradley).
'Between Madam Bubble and Kitty Lorimer: Women Investors in British and Irish Stock Companies', in Anne Laurence, Josephine Maltby & Janette Rutterford (eds), Women and their Money 1700-1950 (Routledge, 2009), 95-114 (with Mark Freeman and Robin Pearson).
'Technological Change and the Governance of Joint-Stock Enterprise in the Early Nineteenth Century: The Case of Scottish Coastal Shipping', Business History, 49 (2007), 573-94 (with Mark Freeman and Robin Pearson).
'Company Fraud in Victorian Britain: The Royal British Bank Scandal of 1856', English Historical Review, 122 (June 2007), 700-24.
'"Different and Better?" Scottish Joint-Stock Companies and the Law, c. 1720-1845', English Historical Review, 122 (Feb. 2007), 61-81 (with Mark Freeman and Robin Pearson).
'"A Doe in the City": Women Shareholders in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century Britain', Accounting, Business & Financial History, 16 (July 2006), 265-91 (with Mark Freeman and Robin Pearson).
'Business in Pictures: Representations of Railway Enterprise in the Satirical Press in Britain 1845-1870', Past & Present, 189 (Nov. 2005), 111-45.
'Commercial Fraud and Public Men in Victorian Britain', Historical Research, 78 (May 2005), 230-52.
'Greed: The Way They Lived Then', BBC History Magazine, 2 (Dec. 2001), 40-2.
'Private Property, Public Interest, and the Role of the State in Nineteenth-Century Britain: The Case of the Lighthouses', Historical Journal, 44 (Sept. 2001), 749-71.
Potential Doctoral Proposals
I am keen to hear from students interested in researching the following areas:
Topics connecting economic, business, and cultural history in Britain since 1800;
History of financial fraud and crime;
History of joint-stock companies and corporate governance;
History of advertising and consumerism;
Don't hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss your research plans.