The Secret Diaries of Charles Igatius Sancho ( hardback Oct 2023), by Paterson Joseph
For fans of The Miniaturist and The Confessions of Frannie Langton comes this award-winning novel of illuminating historical fiction.
Meet Charles Ignatius Sancho: his extraordinary story, hidden for three hundred years, is about to be told. 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 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?
An absolutely thrilling, throat-catching wonder of a historical novel. Hugely recommended.' STEPHEN FRY