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History in the Margins: Black Victorians

18 September 2022, 2.00pm

'Black Victorians' book cover
'Black Victorians' book cover
'Black Victorians' book cover
18 September 2022, 2.00pm

History in the Margins: Black Victorians

Gain a fresh perspective on the Victorian era with John Woolf and Oskar Jensen as they highlight the incredible lives of previously marginalised Black Victorians.
 £10.00 (Concessions £8.00)
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The event

Our vision of Victorian Britain tends to the monolithic: white, imperialist, prurient and patrician. However, more often than not, wherever you find an influential white Victorian, in the shadows will be a Black Victorian, hidden in the official history.

Join John Woolf – co-author of Black Victorians: Hidden in History – and Oskar Jensen – author of Vagabonds: Life on the Streets of 19th-Century London – as they come together for a unique conversation that combines their respective research into Black Victorians and London’s poor.

Through their research, both historians have developed a new understanding of the complexities of race, class and identity of the time that will make you think again about the Victorian era.

Starting with the remarkable story of Edward Albert, a Black ex-seaman and double amputee who features in both of their books, Woolf and Jensen will embark on a fascinating exploration of powerful, human stories of struggle, survival, resistance, imagination, bravery and creativity of Black Victorians.

This event marks the launch of Black Victorians: Hidden in History by John Woolf and Keshia N Abraham.

The speakers

Dr John Woolf is a historian, researcher and lecturer. Born and brought up in North London, he read History at Cambridge and Goldsmiths, winning scholarships at both, before working across TV, radio and film.

He has researched and produced history documentaries for the BBC, co-authored a number of Audible Originals with Stephen Fry and currently lectures at Hult International Business school. He is also an elected Councillor for the London Borough of Islington. His first book, The Wonders, was published in 2019.

Dr Oskar Jensen gained his doctorate in History from Christ Church, University of Oxford. Formerly a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, he is now Senior Research Associate at the University of East Anglia, and will shortly take up a prestigious NUAcT Fellowship at the Newcastle University.

He has written for the New Statesman and has appeared on BBC1’s Who Do You Think You Are? and BBC Radio 3 and 4. He is one of the 2022 BBC New Generation Thinkers and author of the recently published Vagabonds: Life on the Streets of 19th-Century London.

Oskar Jensen

Venue information

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18 September 2022
2.00pm - 3.00pm
Event Category:


National Army Museum (Foyle 1)
Royal Hospital Road
London, SW3 4HT United Kingdom