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An Extract from Black England by Gretchen Gerzina


An integral part of the canon of British history writing, Gretchen Gerzina’s Black England has, since its initial publication in the 1990s, inspired a wealth of research and excellent literature on Black British history. Now freshly re-issued with a foreword from Zadie Smith, Gerzina's pioneering volume brings to life a fascinating cast of Black Georgians – from widely celebrated individuals such as abolitionist, writer and composer Ignatius Sancho and bestselling author Olaudah Equiano to poorly paid servants and ill-treated former soldiers – within the wider story of the struggle against enslavement. To mark Black History Month this October, we are delighted to share an extract from the beginning of the book with the readers of our blog.

Paterson Joseph on Writing The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho

Witty, satirical, and written in the style of an illustrious Regency polemic, The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho reimagines the life of the titular Black writer, composer and abolitionist in eighteenth-century London. In this exclusive piece, the author Paterson Joseph discusses the historical inspiration behind the book and its main character.

Hilary Mantel 1952-2022

Hilary Mantel 1952-2022

Posted on 23rd Sep, 2022 by Mark Skinner

A writer of rare genius who revitalized an entire genre - and a wonderful human being to boot - Hilary Mantel has sadly passed away at the age of 70. In this piece, we pay tribute to a remarkable literary career and a vibrantly lived life.

Melissa Thompson Shares the Story of Ackee and Saltfish

In her beautiful new cookbook and food memoir Motherland, Melissa Thompson tells the history of Jamaica through food, exploring and celebrating the many cultural influences that have shaped this delicious cuisine. In this exclusive piece, the author discusses Jamaica’s national dish - ackee and saltfish - its history, significance, and the special memories it holds for her, as well as sharing the recipe from her new book. 

The Best Horror Manga

The Best Horror Manga

Posted on 12th Sep, 2022 by Mark Skinner

With its distinctive visual style and page-turning storytelling, manga has always had a fruitful relationship with tales of horror and the supernatural. From masters of the genre such as Junji Ito to chilling manhwa from the likes of Koogi, discover some of our favourites below.  

The Waterstones Podcast - Women in Art

Two brilliant women on brilliant women in art.

The Waterstones Round Up: October's Best Children's Books

October sees the return of some beloved children's characters reliably getting into all sorts of side-splitting scrapes; Greg Heffley (a.k.a. Wimpy Kid) embarks on a disastrous rock tour, Tom Gates won't let common sense deter him from earning pocket money and Andy and Terry are preparing for a crazy, catastrophic Christmas in their treehouse. Elsewhere, there are hotly anticipated releases from Adam Silvera and Alice Oseman, a stunning picture book guide to the universe from Oliver Jeffers and not one but two interactive treats from the Story Orchestra - amongst much, much more.         

The Waterstones Round Up: October's Best Books

Packed full of tremendously exciting titles and great gift inspiration, October sees the eagerly awaited return of American literary titan Cormac McCarthy with the first part of his breathtaking new duology. There's also the crime debut from comedian and national treasure Bob Mortimer, letters and diaries from the much-missed John le Carré and Alan Rickman, warming bakes from the Hairy Bikers, myth and magic from Amy Jeffs and much, much, much more. Check out the month's biggest and best books below.

Malorie Blackman's Advice to Budding Writers

In her new life-affirming memoir Just Sayin', Malorie Blackman - the former Waterstones Children's Laureate and author of such classics as Noughts and Crosses - charts her own writing journey, and we are delighted to share an exciting piece from her, featuring her best tips for aspiring authors. 

Kim Sherwood: A Guide to Reading Ian Fleming

A committed fan of the man behind Bond, Kim Sherwood was thrilled to contribute to expanding the universe of 007 with her pulse-quickening Double 0 spy trilogy - the first instalment of which, Double or Nothing, is available now. In this exclusive piece, Kim presents a fascinating guide to the writing of Ian Fleming and explains why, despite his iconic stature as an author of espionage fiction, he is still strangely underrated.      

Lucy Worsley on the Mystery of Agatha Christie

In her latest book, the much-loved historian and biographer Lucy Worsley sheds light on the elusive woman behind the near-mythical author of 66 detective novels, 14 short story collections and over 20 stage plays, who remains the bestselling novelist of all time – Dame Agatha Christie. In this exclusive piece, Worsley reflects on the misconceptions that ran rife around Christie's famous disappearance in 1926 and the truth behind the mystery that people in her lifetime (and still to this day) refused to acknowledge.

Judith Eagle's Favourite Boat Journeys in Children's Fiction

Redolent of maritime travel in the opening years of the twentieth century, Judith Eagle's compelling story of adventure and detection revolves around Patch, a girl who unexpectedly finds herself on an ocean liner bound for New York just as an intriguing mystery unspools. In this exclusive piece, Judith recommends her favourite children's tales that take place on boats.