As part of the Gladstone's Library Hearth Festival 2020


Contemporary understandings of British history are becoming increasingly nuanced, thanks to a series of books exploring the lives of black British citizens. From David Olusoga’s Black and British (2016) to the recent colour-blind casting of Armando Iannucci’s David Copperfield adaptation, the face of Britain looks more varied and interesting than ever. The books of Patrice Lawrence, Miranda Kaufmann and Kate Morrison have significantly altered our understanding of what the Tudor world looked like. Kate’s novel, A Book of Secrets (2019), tells the story of Susan Charlewood, taken from Ghana as a baby and now, as a young girl, hunting for her brother through an Elizabethan underworld. Miranda’s non-fiction Black Tudors: The Untold Story tells exactly that – the untold story of hundreds of Africans living in Tudor England. Patrice’s Diver’s Daughter: A Tudor Story (2019) tells the story of Eve, a young West African girl living with her mother in the Southwark slums of Elizabethan London. Join them as they discuss the practice of writing untold stories.


Miranda Kaufmann is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Liverpool, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She read History at Christ Church, Oxford, before working as a freelance historian and journalist. Miranda is also currently lead historian on the Colonial Countryside project which is working with ten National Trust properties, schools, and creative writers, to explore historic links with Caribbean slavery. She now lives in North Wales, where she is writing her next book, Heiresses: Slavery & The Caribbean Marriage Trade. 


Patrice Lawrence is an award-winning writer and one of the hottest names in publishing. Her debut YA novel, Orangeboy (YEAR), announced her writing with a bang, winning the Bookseller YA Prize and the Waterstones Prize for Older Children’s Fiction, as well as being shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award. Patrice went on to write Indigo Donut (2017), which was Book of the Week in The TimesThe Sunday Times and The Observer. Both books were nominated for the Carnegie Award, Britain’s most important award for writing for children. 


Kate Morrison is a British debut novelist. She studied English Literature at New Hall College, Cambridge and worked as a journalist and a press officer, as well as a visiting scholar with the Book, Text, and Place 1500-1700 Research Centre at Bath Spa University. Kate currently lives in West Sussex with her family.