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History of Financial Advice

Project: Research


'The History of Financial Advice' provides the first thorough study of a genre of writing that has amassed a huge readership, and had major social and economic effects, but which has remained largely neglected by cultural and economic historians and by literary critics.

The project charts the history of personal financial advice literature as it has developed in Britain and the United States, ranging from the private letters and domestic advice manuals of the eighteenth century to the emergence of financial journalism and investment advice in the nineteenth century to the proliferation of popular financial novels, lifestyle guides and blogs in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Drawing on approaches to the study of rhetoric and narrative central to literary and cultural studies, the project investigates how works of financial advice have succeeded in appealing to the desires and fantasies of their readers, despite a lack of evidence for the efficacy of the investment strategies such works propound. Making use of the strand of social science known as 'Cultural Economy', the project also considers how financial advice has shaped public perceptions of, and activities in, financial markets, such that the genre has actively made and remade the very markets about which it advises.
Effective start/end date7/01/166/01/19


  • AHRC: £60,342.00