Till Time's Last Sand Synopsis
The authorised history of the Bank of England by the bestselling David Kynaston, 'the most entertaining historian alive' (Spectator). 'Not an ordinary bank, but a great engine of state,' Adam Smith declared of the Bank of England as long ago as 1776. The Bank is now over 320 years old, and throughout almost all that time it has been central to British history. Yet to most people, despite its increasingly high profile, its history is largely unknown. Till Time's Last Sand by David Kynaston is the first authoritative and accessible single-volume history of the Bank of England, opening with the Bank's founding in 1694 in the midst of the English financial revolution and closing in 2013 with Mark Carney succeeding Mervyn King as Governor. This is a history that fully addresses the important debates over the years about the Bank's purpose and modes of operation and that covers such aspects as monetary and exchange-rate policies and relations with government, the City and other central banks. Yet this is also a narrative that does full justice to the leading episodes and characters of the Bank, while taking care to evoke a real sense of the place itself, with its often distinctively domestic side. Deploying an array of piquant and revealing material from the Bank's rich archives, Till Time's Last Sand is a multi-layered and insightful portrait of one of our most important national institutions, from one of our leading historians.
Till Time's Last Sand Press Reviews
Kynaston's aim is to provide a history of the Bank for the general reader and in this he triumphantly succeeds, providing a worthy complement to the notable series of books on different periods of the Bank's history ... wonderfully readable -- John Plender * Financial Times * The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street has been waiting for a biographer who could do justice to the richness of her story ... This is the work of a scholar with a gift for illuminating every square inch of each enormous canvas he chooses to paint ... Kynaston brings characters large and small to life ... I, for one, will hope for a second edition in a decade or so's time -- Martin Vander Weyer * Literary Review * This mammoth history of the Bank of England is full of human detail ... What the reader gets is an exemplary narrative history, with the archives plundered judiciously and plenty of focus on people and their quirks ... Kynaston has produced a fascinating accompaniment to his four-volume history of the City. His portrait of a globally influential institution is rendered on an entertainingly human scale -- Iain Martin * The Times * A triumph ... this portrait of the Bank of England really is fascinating, at times even gripping -- Simon Heffer * Sunday Telegraph * Kynaston is a masterly storyteller and has made the material as accessible as it could possibly be to the non-specialist ... It is through allowing actors, great and small, to have their say, that Kynaston conveys the complex culture of the Bank -- Robert Skidelsky * Prospect * Kynaston's access to the bank's archives - this is the official history, commissioned by the then governor Mervyn King in 2009 - yields tremendous detail ... This archive-led approach ... yield[s] details no other historian of the bank has hitherto discovered -- Dominic Lawson * Sunday Times * As David Kynaston makes clear in an engaging and absorbing account of its history, the Bank is an enigmatically hybrid creature, like a centaur or sphinx - a hybrid that has undergone significant mutations over three centuries of adaptation and evolution ... Although the arc of Kynaston's narrative is one of rising prosperity in the long term, this is a story punctuated by popping bubbles, major swindles, banking bailouts, sterling devaluations and squeezes on liquidity, which become themselves the matter of his drama -- Colin Kidd * Guardian * It is a part of Kynaston's huge achievement that such moments of insight and pleasure should accompany what has become a monumental history of our recent past -- Praise for 'Modernity Britain' * The Times * David Kynaston is one of the great chroniclers of our modern story ... Every paragraph contains some glittering nugget -- Praise for 'Modernity Britain' * Sunday Times * A historian of peerless sensitivity and curiosity about the lives of individuals. His method is to immerse first himself, then his readers, in a deep quotidian fabric of the time, making every strand visible before gradually lifting his gaze and revealing the wider pattern -- Praise for 'Modernity Britain' * Financial Times * Kynaston's project is already being acclaimed as one of the great achievements of modern history -- Praise for 'Modernity Britain' * Daily Telegraph * Volumes full of treasure, serious history with a human face -- Praise for 'Modernity Britain' * Hilary Mantel, Observer * Magnificent * Observer *
About David Kynaston
David Kynaston was born in Aldershot in 1951. He has been a professional historian since 1973 and has written nineteen books, including The City of London, a widely acclaimed four-volume history, and WG's Birthday Party, an account of the Gentleman v. Players match at Lord's in July 1898. He is the author of Austerity Britain, 1945-51, Family Britain, 1951-57 and Modernity Britain, 1957-1959, the first three titles in a series of books covering the history of post-war Britain (1945-79) under the collective title 'Tales of a New Jerusalem'. He is currently a visiting professor at Kingston University.
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