This little book tells the truthful story of how the Bank of England actually came into being. It is a story of pirates, treasure, random good fortune and sheer determination. This is an institution founded on risk, daring and imagination. The tale is entangled with that of the early novel, in particular the fortunes of one Moll Flanders, an entrepreneur of sexual relations in the growing London market for capital in the early eighteenth century. These accounts are woven together with the life-stories of Daniel Defoe and William Paterson, founders of two of the key institutions of our modern age, the novel and the corporation. This reveals connections which are nowadays forgotten, and which the fractured specialisms of 'Literature', 'History' and 'Business' can rarely see. These tales are set against the backdrop of the long eighteenth century - fervent years of inventiveness, high risk gambling, and political revolution. The authors show that the dark arts of deceit, and the credibility of fictions, are requirements for any creative enterprise, and that all organizations are fictions.
Valerie Hamilton runs her own consultancy practice in the City of London focusing on managing change, and personal development for senior managers of large public institutions. Her early career was in teaching English Literature in schools and universities in the UK, Denmark and the US. Martin Parker is Professor of Organization and Culture at the University of Leicester School of Management, and author or editor of sixteen other books. He has worked at Staffordshire, Keele and Warwick Universities. He writes within the broad area of 'critical management studies', and is interested in practices and representations of alternative ways of organizing.