Victorian Investments, edited by Nancy Henry and Cannon Schmitt, explores the relationship between the financial system in Great Britain and other aspects of Victorian society and culture. Building on the special journal issue of Victorian Studies devoted to Victorian investments, this volume is the first to define an interdisciplinary field of study emerging in the space between Marxist critiques of capitalism and traditional histories of business and economics. The contributors demonstrate how phenomena such as the expansion of colonial and foreign markets, the broadening of the investor base through the advent of limited liability, and the rise of financial journalism gave rise to a “culture of investment” that affected Victorian Britons at every level of society and influenced every kind of cultural production. Drawing together work by prominent historians as well as literary and cultural critics, Victorian Investments both defines the methodologies and perspectives that characterize an existing body of scholarship and pushes that scholarship in new directions, demonstrating the signal role of economic developments in Victorian culture and society.
“Serious, ample, and provocative, the essays are an important addition to the literature of nineteenth-century finance and offer constructive consideration of a fundamental feature of the practice and myths of capitalism as we continue to live with and in them.” ―Victorian Studies, Vol. 52, No. 1
“This is a generous collection in every sense of the term, commendable for the breadth of its voices and for the wealth of information it offers both newcomers to and veterans of the study of Victorian finance…. Assembling contributions from top scholars in history and literature, Henry and Schmitt offer us a diverse and highly readable volume.” ―Journal of British Studies, 50.3 (July 2011)
Victorian Investments was published in 2009 by Indiana University Press.