Professor James TaylorProfessor in Modern British History
My work explores the cultural, political, and legal dimensions of economic change in Britain since the 1700s. I have published on subjects ranging from the early history of corporate governance and the regulation of commercial fraud, to the history of the financial press and cultural attitudes to advertising.
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), won the Ralph Gomory Prize for best business history book of 2012. My third, Boardroom Scandal, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. More recently, I have worked on an interdisciplinary history of financial advice since the eighteenth century, in collaboration with colleagues from the universities of Southampton, Manchester, and Edinburgh. This AHRC-funded project tracks the genre from domestic advice manuals of the eighteenth century to modern-day blogs, and considers how financial advice has actively made and remade the very markets about which it advises. Our book, Invested: How Three Centuries of Stock Market Advice Reshaped Our Money, Markets, and Minds, was published in 2022. Besides books, I have also published articles in many leading historical journals, including English Historical Review, Historical Journal, Historical Research, and Past & Present.
My current research has two strands. The first explores gender and financial markets, focusing on the neglected history of women stockbrokers in the century before they were admitted to the London Stock Exchange in 1973. I recently wrote this piece for The Conversation about the 50th anniversary, and my research was cited in the Financial Times. The second examines the financialisation of everyday life in Britain since 1850. Concentrating on ordinary people and everyday experiences, rather than financial elites and ideologies, it seeks to provide a history of finance 'from below'. It is particularly interested in the spatial, material, and emotional dimensions of people's experiences of finance.
Hist280: The Victorians and Before: Britain, 1783-1901
Hist281: Britain in the Twentieth Century
Hist343: Advertising and Consumerism in Britain, 1853-1960
PhD Supervision Interests
I can supervise students researching various aspects of British history since 1800, including the history of advertising, shopping, and consumerism; financial fraud and crime; financial journalism and corporate governance; the financialisation of everyday life.
Paper Promises: A Material History of Investment
01/06/2018 → 30/06/2022
History of Financial Advice
07/01/2016 → 06/01/2019
Paradise of Knaces? Commercial fraud in Britain 1825-1914
01/08/2007 → 31/03/2008
AHRC (External organisation)
Membership of committee