August 25, 2020

Thomas Levenson: The South Sea Bubble (1720)

In this episode of Travels Through Time, the writer Thomas Levenson guides us back to the scene of one the first and most devastating of all stock market crashes, an event that traumatised Georgian Britain: the South Sea Bubble.

The subject matter, the scenes and characters that feature in this episode come from Levenson's new book, Money for NothingMuch more information is to be found at

Thomas Levenson is Professor of Science Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Show notes

Scene One: 22 January, 1720: John Aislabie, Chancellor of the Exchequer, rises in the House of Commons to present the South Sea deal to the members.

Scene Two: A Sunday in May, 1720. Daniel Defoe goes to church and witnesses the ‘South Sea’ hysteria.

Scene Three: 20 December, 1720, the House of Commons. Robert Walpole decides the fate of the speculators.

Memento: A pocket watch made in the year 1720


Presenter: Peter Moore

Guest: Thomas Levenson

Editorial: Artemis Irvine

Producers: Maria Nolan

Titles: Jon O

Follow us on Twitter: @tttpodcast_

Podcast Partner: ColorGraph

So much more at:

More episodes

Load more

Play this podcast on Podbean App