Early modern finance, central planning and technology

Self-indulgently, I read *another* novel this week, Francis Spufford’s Golden Hill. It has some relevance to this blog, with fascinating insight into early modern (18th century London-New York) finance. Unlike his brilliant Red Plenty, however – which was about the formal equivalence of a centrally planned economy and a decentralised competitive general equilibrium (under certain assumptions, naturally) – Golden Hill is only tangentially about economics, to be transparent about it. It is, though, a rattling good read, highly recommended, and impossible to say more about without spoilers.

Golden Hill

Anybody who hasn’t yet read Red Plenty should make it a priority. I also adore Spufford’s Backroom Boys, a hymn to the otherwise unsung heroes of British engineering. And his volume with Jenny Uglow, Cultural Babbage: Technology, Time and Invention.

Red Plenty Backroom Boys: The Secret Return of the British Boffin Cultural Babbage: Technology, Time and Invention

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