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The University of Southampton

Changing the face of finance

Southampton is the home of world-leading research on the relationship between literature and economics by scholars such as Professor Emma Clery and Professor Nicky Marsh.

14 January 2020

2017 was not the first time that the name Austen appeared on the £10 note: Jane Austen’s banker brother issued his own Austenian currency two centuries earlier. Emma Clery’s Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister throws new light on the acute treatment of economic inequality and financial speculation in the novels – topics with as much currency today as they had in the first years of the nineteenth century.

Emma's groundbreaking research on the involvement of women writers in economic debate has been recognised with prestigious grants and awards, including a Leverhulme Trust Major Fellowship and the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for her book Eighteen Hundred and Eleven: Poetry, Protest and Economic Crisis.

I am working on a collaborative project that examines the emergence of a distinctive genre of personal financial advice, tracing it from the personal correspondence of banking families in the eighteenth century to popular culture in the twentieth.

Professor Nicky Marsh - Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)

In Show Me the Money! The Image of Finance, 1700 to the Present, Professor Nicky Marsh, Associate Dean, Research and Enterprise, and colleagues at the University of Southampton, collaborate with the universities of Manchester, Edinburgh, and the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Arts in Sunderland, to explore the history and representation of finance. They look at how often elusive but familiar concepts – such as the market, credit and debt, and even money itself, are given meaning and form through visual and literary culture. The research culminated in a national touring exhibition, charting how the financial world has been imagined in art, illustration and photography from the South Sea Bubble of the early eighteenth century to the global financial crisis of 2008.

The sterling work of these scholars directly informs the teaching our students receive on modules such as ‘Jane Austen and the Regency World’ and ‘Money and Meaning in American Literature’.

You can hear Nicky discussing the history of financial advice on:

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