Paterson Joseph

Blog · Posted October 27, 2023

Paterson Joseph captivated his audience while talking about The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho.

We were thrilled to announce that acclaimed actor and debut novelist, Paterson Joseph, would be with us at Mainstreet on Thurs 26th Oct to discuss his remarkable book, The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho. Vicky, who has made his novel one of her books of the year, was over the moon!

‘An absolutely thrilling, throat-catching wonder of a historical novel.’ –STEPHEN FRY

Meet Charles Ignatius Sancho: his extraordinary story, hidden for three hundred years, is about to be told. 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?

Vicky’s review:

“Born on a slave ship, Charles Ignatius Sancho went on to become a composer of music, writer of letters, he was painted by Gainsborough, was the first black man to vote in Britain and even met the King. Never heard of him? Neither had I.

The result of 20 years of research, Joseph’s debut novel is not only a detailed study of a remarkable yet flawed man, but also provides an exploration into a Georgian London most would not recognise from their history lessons.

Infectious, insightful, important. If you read just one book this year, make it this one.”

If you would like to purchase the book, click the button below:

Buy The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho

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This event was held in the barn and can only be accessed by stairs. Please read our accessibility policy on the website for more information.