So last night the incomparable Geordie Williamson launched my new book Double Entry with as many double entendres as it’s possible to squeeze from the words ‘double entry’. Because (as my publisher Jane Palfreyman pointed out) he comes from another planet, Geordie was able to pluck words from thin air and turn them into effortlessly elegant trains of thought, not a note in sight. It was a thrilling performance.
The idea for Double Entry was born from the unlikely union of a summer I spent at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and an accounting lecture. Through this odd coupling I learnt of a monk and his treatise for merchants published in Venice in 1494 – and this set me on the trail of double-entry bookkeeping, a trail that would prove long and endlessly fascinating and would take me from medieval Italy to Wall Street.
I’ll be talking about Double Entry – on Monks, Maths and Magic – at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne next Thursday 3 November 2011 at 12.45pm. And I’ll be talking to the wonderful Charlotte Wood about my book at Gleebooks on Thursday 10 November 2011 at 6 for 6.30pm.