Ben has just entered his writing-up year at the University of Manchester under the supervision of Professor Hannah Barker. His title is, "The Supply and Demand of High-End Consumer Goods in the North West, c.1720-1785".
"Primarily focused on pre-industrial Manchester and Liverpool, my research explores the eighteenth-century history of the cities’ commercialism. I am interested in the way towns developed to accommodate increasing populations with expanding tastes; how suppliers operated in new luxury markets; and how and why consumers spent their money. I challenge existing ideas of provincial emulation, and my thesis argues that more sophisticated analyses of provincial towns is necessary for a fuller understanding of Britain’s commercial history."
His aims for the year are to complete on time and to double his twitter following, so help him with the latter and hinder him in the former by following him here!
His recommendations for those interested in the topic are Neil McKendrick (et al.) The Birth of a Consumer Society, and Amanda Vickery’s Behind Closed Doors.