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Incomparable World
Incomparable World

Incomparable World

By S Martin, Introduction by Bernardine Evaristo


Black Britain Writing Back


240 Pages, 5.06 x 7.81

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $17.99 (US $17.99)

Publication Date: January 2023

ISBN 9780241482704

Rights: US

Penguin Random House UK (Jan 2023)

Price: $17.99


A visceral reimagining of 1780s London, showcasing the untold stories of African-American soldiers grappling with their freedom after the American revolution.

In the years just after the American revolution, London was the unlikely refuge for thousands of black Americans who fought for liberty on the side of the British.

Buckram, Georgie, and William have earned their freedom and escaped their American oppressors, but on the streets of London, poverty awaits with equal cruelty.

Ruthless, chaotic, and endlessly evolving, London forces them into a life of crime, and a life on the margins. Their only hope for a better future is to concoct a scheme so daring, it will be a miracle if it pays off.

Pulsating with energy and vivid detail, Incomparable World boldly uncovers a long-buried narrative of black Britain.

“To my knowledge, Incomparable World remains the only novel about this specific aspect of Black British History. Indeed, so few novels have been written about the Black presence in these shores before the twentieth century that the field is almost completely wide open for writers to colour in the empty space." —Bernardine Evaristo


"An impressive debut—angry, vigorous, and moving." —Kirkus Reviews

"A rollicking account of Black lives in London and Middlesex during a specific period in the late 18th century. Buckram, an illiterate seller of pornographic magazines, Georgie George, ‘King of the Beggars’ and William Supple, an actor turned professional gambler, are the principal characters in a broad cast of American ex-slaves living precariously in London, having been freed by the British through their service to King George in the War of Independence. . The story ranges enjoyably across dangerous streets, disreputable taverns with noisy games of dominoes, and squalid bedrooms. . . . The descriptions are superb, poetic and immensely vivid. . . . A funny, thrilling and very convincing account, truly incomparable to any other novels set in 18th-century London." —Historical Novel Society

Author Biography

S. I. Martin is a museums consultant and author, specializing in Black British history and literature. He is the author of several books of historical fiction and non-fiction for teenage and adult readers, including Britain's Slave Trade (written for Channel 4 to tie in with its documentary of the same name), Jupiter Amidshops, Jupiter Williams, and Incomparable World.

Bernardine Evaristo, MBE, is the award-winning author of eight books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora. Her novel Girl, Woman, Other made her the first black woman to win the Booker Prize in 2019, as well winning the Fiction Book of the Year Award at the British Book Awards in 2020, where she also won Author of the Year, and the Indie Book Award.