Re-imagining the maverick Black writer and composer in 18th-century London.
This event will take place at the British Library. It will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person (physical), or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up. Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.
The online version of this event will be live captioned.
Acclaimed British actor Paterson Joseph draws from his highly-anticipated debut novel to tell the extraordinary story of 18th-century writer, abolitionist and composer Charles Ignatius Sancho. Charles’s story began with his birth on board a slave ship in c.1729, before being orphaned and sold into slavery.
Transported across the Atlantic to Britain at the age of two, Sancho spent his childhood and teens in the household of three English sisters, before escaping enslavement and developing a career as a businessman, writer and composer who sat at the very heart of Georgian London – becoming the first Black person to vote in Britain and leading the fight to end slavery.
Beginning with a dramatic reading from his new book, Paterson Joseph shares Charles Ignatius Sancho’s incredible life story and explores what it meant to be a Black Briton living at this time, and how historical fiction can help to breathe fresh life into real historical figures. Paterson will be talking to author Catherine Johnson.
Paterson Joseph is a beloved British actor and writer. Recently seen on Vigil and Noughts and Crosses, he has also starred in Peep Show and Law & Order UK and he plays Arthur Slugworth in the forthcoming Wonka movie. The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho is his debut novel.
Catherine Johnson has written over 20 books for young readers and has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal as well as winning awards for Historical Fiction. She also writes for TV, including adapting Miranda Kaufmann's Black Tudors, as well as for film, radio and video games. Her latest book is Journey Back to Freedom, a book for young readers about the life of Olaudah Equiano.
This event is in partnership with HistFest.
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