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The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho

"Telling the extraordinary story of a Black Briton who rose from being born on a slave ship to lead the fight to end slavery, this is historic fiction at its most exhilarating."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

This is a tale of a lucky African orphan, who despite being born in abject slavery, rose to become a leading light in the early abolitionist movement. A hero. A man. An African. An artist. Erudite. Wise. Grand. Flawed”. So writes actor Paterson Joseph in the introductory Author’s Note to his exceptional debut novel.

Set in Georgian London, The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho tells the thrilling fictionalised account of the character, deeds and impact of a real Black Briton. From being born on a slave ship bound “straight to the heart of hell” in 1729, to becoming an acclaimed musician, finding all-consuming love, meeting the King, leading the abolition movement and becoming the first Black person to vote in Britain, Joseph’s account of Sancho’s life sings with energy, and dances with exquisite detail.

While relating Sancho’s many fights for freedoms, and his love of a lifetime, we bear witness to the wit and dazzling drive of a man who once wondered whether he would always be “the outside man, looking in”.

Essential, entertaining reading for fans of The Confessions of Frannie Langton, and for anyone with an appetite for historic fiction with bite, The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho is an immersive treasure.

Joanne Owen

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