Universiteit Leiden

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Lewis Wade

Postdoc / Marie Curie fellow

Dr. L.M. Wade
+31 71 527 7237

I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at Leiden University, working on a project entitled ‘The Mediterranean as a Laboratory of Globalisation: The Franco-Ottoman Cloth Trade, 1683-c.1715’. I defended my thesis at the University of Exeter in 2021. This was awarded the British Commission for Maritime History's Boydell & Brewer Prize for the best doctoral thesis in maritime history and the Association of Business Historians' Coleman Prize for the best doctoral thesis in business history. I developed my thesis into a book, entitled ‘Privilege, Economy and State in Old Regime France: Marine Insurance, War and the Atlantic Empire under Louis XIV’, which has now been published with Boydell & Brewer.

More information about Lewis Wade

Fields of interest

Economic history
Maritime history
Global history
Commercial history
Colonial history


My ongoing project studies the cloth industry of the Languedoc, a province in southern France, under Louis XIV. This industry was championed up to 1683 by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the Sun King’s eminent minister, and would go on to underpin France’s flourishing trade with the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth century. What happened between Colbert’s interventions and the golden age of Franco-Ottoman trade has received very little attention, however, despite the fact this was precisely the period when Colbert’s factories – on the verge of collapse on his death in 1683 – transformed into flourishing industrial enterprises that spurred the province’s economic success. Understanding why these factories had such a dramatic change in fortunes in the period 1683 to 1715, I suggest, requires us to recognise that the factories were producing cloth for markets across Asia, not simply the Ottoman Empire.

I will be documenting my findings in a book, which is provisionally entitled 'The Sun King Rises in the East: Languedocian Cloth and the Articulation of a Franco-Asian Commercial Axis'.

Curriculum Vitae

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Leiden University (2023–25)

Economic History Society Postan Fellow, Institute of Historical Research, University of London (2022–23)

PhD History, University of Exeter (2017–21)

BA History, University of Cambridge (2013–16)

Postdoc / Marie Curie fellow

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Institute for History
  • Economische en Sociale geschiedenis

Work address

Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 1.07



  • No relevant ancillary activities
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