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Book Review: Estates, enterprise and investment at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution: estate management and accounting in the North-East of England, c.1700–1780

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There is a general acknowledgement, re-stated at the start of this book that the economic development of Britain from an agrarian, feudal society to an industrial, capitalist one was largely led by estate owners. Estates in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were the largest, most defined type of business organisation in existence, and formative industrial developments in mining and transportation came through landowners investing in their land, and retaining the rights and rewards from those investments. Accounting historians in particular have interrogated the records from estates to show how estate management practices were disseminated from an agricultural setting to other, industrial sectors. The extent to which those practices are the forerunners of modern management accounting practices is much debated. It has been held that modern accounting practices began during and after World War I but others have pointed to estate practices in the Middle Ages as the progenitors of modern management accounting. This book sits between the two periods, and is thus well placed to explore this issue. By David Oldroyd, Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2007, xii + 217 pp., £55.00 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-7546-3455-3
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-141
Number of pages16
JournalBusiness History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

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