The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho: Paterson Joseph

£16.99

It’s 1746 and Georgian London is not a safe place for a young Black man, especially one who has escaped slavery. After the twinkling lights in the Fleet Street coffee shops are blown out and the great houses have closed their doors for the night, Sancho must dodge slave catchers and worse. The man he hoped would help – a kindly duke who taught him to write – is dying. Sancho is desperate and utterly alone. So how does Charles Ignatius Sancho meet the King, write and play highly acclaimed music, become the first Black person to vote in Britain and lead the fight to end slavery? It’s time for him to tell his story, one that begins on a tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, and ends at the very centre of London life. And through it all, he must ask: born amongst death, how much can you achieve in one short life?

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PICKED FOR THE TIMES BIGGEST BOOKS FOR AUTUMN 2022

‘An absolutely thrilling, throat-catching wonder of a historical novel. Told with dazzling energy and brilliant panache. Hugely recommended.’ STEPHEN FRY

‘Phenomenal! Highly recommended’ MALORIE BLACKMAN, author of Noughts and Crosses

‘Absolutely loving this . . . A great storyteller’ DAVID HAREWOOD, actor and author of Maybe I Don’t Belong Here

‘An absolute masterpiece of a debut . . . historical fiction at its best!’ SUSAN STOKES-CHAPMAN, bestselling author of Pandora

MEET CHARLES IGNATIUS SANCHO: HIS EXTRAORDINARY STORY, HIDDEN FOR THREE HUNDRED YEARS, IS ABOUT TO BE TOLD. DISCOVER GEORGIAN LONDON AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

I had little right to live, born on a slave ship where my parents both died. But I survived, and indeed, you might say I did more…

It’s 1746 and Georgian London is not a safe place for a young Black man, especially one who has escaped slavery. After the twinkling lights in the Fleet Street coffee shops are blown out and the great houses have closed their doors for the night, Sancho is utterly alone. The man he hoped would help is dying. Sancho is desperate.

And yet this same Sancho will go on to tread the boards of London’s theatres, become a highly acclaimed musician and composer, lead the fight to end slavery, meet the King and become the very first Black person to vote in Britain . . .

It’s time for him to tell his story, one that begins on a tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, and ends at the very centre of London life. And through it all, he must ask: born amongst death, how much can you achieve in one short life?

From one of Britain’s best-loved actors, Paterson Joseph, comes an utterly captivating historical novel, telling the true story of a Great Black Briton. Fans of Bridgerton, Hamilton, The Miniaturist and The Confessions of Frannie Langton will adore being led into the heart of Black Georgian London.

‘Sings with the words of a man who survives his struggles, and expresses himself through music, language and love’ GRETCHEN GERZINA, author, historian and academic

Elegant, moving and vital. What Paterson Joseph does – what every writer of historical fiction yearns to do – is make history fall away so that in every moment we are immersed in a lived life. A stunning debut.’ JESS KIDD, author of Things in Jars

Additional information

Weight 0.7 kg
Dimensions 23.6 × 16.2 × 4 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Hardback

Pages

432

Language

English

Edition

Hardback original

Dewey

823.92 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K

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