Merchant Kings: When Companies Ruled the World, 1600-1900

Merchant Kings: When Companies Ruled the World, 1600-1900

by Stephen R. Bown
  • adventure
  • historical

Commerce meets conquest in this swashbuckling story of the six merchant-adventurers who built the modern world.

The merchant kings of the Age of Heroic Commerce were a rogue's gallery of larger-than-life men who, for a couple hundred years, expanded their far-flung commercial enterprises over a sizable portion of the world.

They include Jan Pieterszoon Coen, the violent and autocratic pioneer of the Dutch East India Company; Peter Stuyvesant, the one-legged governor of the Dutch West India Company, whose narrow-minded approach lost Manhattan to the British; Robert Clive, who rose from company clerk to become head of the British East India Company and one of the wealthiest men in Britain; Alexandr Baranov of the Russian American Company; Cecil Rhodes, founder of De Beers and Rhodesia; and George Simpson, the "Little Emperor" of the Hudson's Bay Company, who was chauffeured about his vast fur domain in a giant canoe, exhorting his voyageurs to paddle harder so he could set speed records.


Stephen R. Bown, author

Stephen R. Bown is the author of many critically acclaimed, award-winning titles, including most recently White Eskimo (Douglas & McIntyre, 2015), which was the winner of the 2016 William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books. Bown lives in the Canadian Rockies.

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: Douglas and McIntyre



rights available: World

Additional Information

age range: Adult

number of pages: 336

publication date: 11/01/2021

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: complete manuscript