The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho by Paterson Joseph


Bookseller’s Book of the Year 2022:

‘A uniquely down to earth look at 1700s England through the fictionalised diaries of a determined ex-slave. I really like how character driven it is, as Sancho isn’t the kind of protagonist this style of novel usually focuses on.’   Adeolu


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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.