Hardback The secret diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho / Paterson Joseph.
Publication year: 2022
Publisher: London : Dialogue Books,
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 9780349702391 (hbk.) :
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?
ix, 411 pages ; 24 cm
I wanted to like this novel more than I did. Joseph is a good writer, with a nice turn of phrase, and this book deals with an important issue - the evil of slavery and the unwarranted subjugation of the black man. But the plot is laboured and clichéd, lacking in tension and believable incidents. It improved in the second half when the action moves away briefly from England to the Colonies, but it was a real slog to read that far. I'm afraid it didn't convince me either as the telling of social history or as an entertaining story.