James Buchan is a Scottish novelist and historian. His new book, John Law: A Scottish Adventurer of the Eighteenth Century, will be published in September 2018.

IN THE REVIEW

The Old Lady

Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England, 1694–2013

by David Kynaston
The Bank of England is one of Britain’s distinct contributions to history. It was chartered in 1694 to lend money to King William for war on France, when a company of London merchants received from Parliament the right to take deposits in coin from the public and to issue receipts or “Bank notes.” The bank financed a summer’s fighting in the Low Countries, gave the business district of London, known as the City, a currency for trade, and lowered the rate of interest for private citizens.