The City of London: v. 2: Golden Years, 1890-1914 by David Kynaston
Between 1890 and 1914 the city of London was all dominant, as Britain's legendary gold-standard reigned supreme across the globe. The author shows how this was possible, anatomizes an elite at the height of its powers, and shows how the relationship between finance and politics became dangerously close. The Stock Exchange, the muscular, rumour-ridden club of gentlemen and would-be gentlemen is brought to life in incidents like the Marconi scandal, the Battle of Throgmorton Street", and the murder of a stockbroker by his mistress on Lord Mayor's day. There seemed no reason why it should ever end and "Golden Years" ends with a portrait of the city in action in the summer of 1914, sweating over deals looking to the short term, never dreaming that its world would shortly change forever.