Untold histories looks in detail at the experiences of the average black person in England and Wales during the period of the British slave trade. Drawing on a database which is the most extensive of its kind, it reveals for the first time information about sex ratios, ages, from where in the world they came and how they were treated by the criminal justice system. As well as unique statistical data, there are the life stories of ordinary individuals and how they integrated into society. This book overturns many of the conventional assumptions that have been made about their lives. They were t enslaved, stigmatised outsiders but woven into English society as government officials, defenders of the country, tradesmen, entertainers and founders of families who have left a legacy of their presence in the form of descendants that in some cases can be traced to the present day. The approach is factual rather than theoretical, using the techniques of the genealogist to reconstruct individual lives. It is written in a lucid, accessible style that will make it essential reading t just for academics but for those who are interested in this aspect of English history and may want to learn how to find out more about the black people in their own localities.
Kathleen Chater is an independent scholar and writer