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Black Tudors: The Untold Story


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A transformative history – in Tudor times there were Africans living and working in Britain, and they were free

About the Author

Miranda Kaufmann is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of London’s Institute of Commonwealth Studies. She has appeared on Sky News, the BBC and Al Jazeera, and she’s written for The Times, Guardian and BBC History Magazine. She lives in Pontblyddyn in North Wales.


‘That rare thing: a book about the 16th century that said something new.’
*Evening Standard, Books of the Year*

‘This is history on the cutting edge of archival research, but accessibly written and alive with human details and warmth. Black Tudors is a critical book that allows us to better understand an era that fascinates us like no other.’
*David Olusoga, author of Black and British: A Forgotten History*

‘Enlightening and constantly surprising… Far too many popular studies of the Tudors return the same faces. To its great credit, Black Tudors presents fresh figures and challenges the way we look at them.’
*Jessie Childs, Financial Times*

‘Splendid… that rare thing – a work of history about the Tudors that actually says something fresh and new… a cracking contribution to the field.’
*Dan Jones, Sunday Times*

‘Consistently fascinating, historically invaluable… the narrative is pacy... Anyone reading it will never look at Tudor England in the same light again.'
*Daily Mail*

‘An absolute joy.’
*Leanda de Lisle, The Times*

‘The industry and skill with which Miranda Kaufmann has hunted for these sources and teased out their meanings are exemplary… Kaufmann’s greatest skill is her ability to fill in the background on every topic that arises, from piracy to silk-weaving to brothels to Anglo-Moroccan diplomacy… In the hands of a lesser writer this would be mere padding with secondary material, but she investigates every subject in the same depth… a fascinating book, which brings a sadly neglected part of our history to life, and grinds no ideological axes in the process’.
*Daily Telegraph*

‘[The] audience will find itself in the hands of a historian of excellent investigative skills, who shows attention to detail, uses evidence with appropriate caution, and has the sensibility of a scholar.’
*Times Literary Supplement*

*Sunday Telegraph*

‘Meticulous research draws on sources from letters to legal papers… The detail [Kaufmann] unearths brings to life those absent from the pages of history.’

‘In a work of brilliant sleuthing, engagingly written, Kaufmann reclaims long-forgotten lives and fundamentally challenges our preconceptions of Tudor and Jacobean attitudes to race and slavery.’
*John Guy, bestselling author of Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years*

‘Miranda Kaufmann has written a superb antidote both to the cliches of Tudor history and to the assumption that Black migration to Britain began with the Windrush. Her vivid portrait of Black Tudor lives sweeps readers around the world in the company of Diego, manservant to Sir Francis Drake, and back to the life of single woman Cattelena in the Gloucestershire countryside. Grounded in precise and detailed historical research, Black Tudors promises to change perceptions of a period at the heart of Britain’s national identity.’
*Catherine Fletcher, author of The Black Prince of Florence*

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