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  • Published: 12 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473566248
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

Hidden Heritage

Rediscovering Britain's Lost Love of the Orient




Channel 4 News reporter and broadcaster Fatima Manji explores British history and identity through the art, objects and architecture that found their way from the Orient to the heart of our society

A vital new perspective on British history from award-winning broadcaster Fatima Manji

"This is such an important, brave book that sheds a calm, bright light on the complexity of history at a time when simplistic assumptions have become the norm. It is truly brilliant" Elif Shafak

Why was there a Turkish mosque adorning Britain's most famous botanic garden in in the eighteenth century? And more importantly, why is it no longer there? How did one of the great symbols of an Indian king's power, a pair of Persian-inscribed cannon, end up in rural Wales? And who is the Moroccan man that stole British hearts depicted in a long forgotten portrait hanging in a west London stately home?

Throughout Britain's galleries and museums, civic buildings and stately homes, relics can be found that beg these questions and more. They point to a more complex national history than is commonly remembered. These objects, lost, concealed or simply overlooked, expose the diversity of pre-twentieth-century Britain and the misconceptions around modern immigration narratives.

Hidden Heritage powerfully recontextualises the relationship between Britain and the people and societies of the Orient. In her journey across Britain exploring cultural landmarks, Fatima Manji searches for a richer and more honest story of a nation struggling with identity and the legacy of empire.

"A timely, brilliant and very brave book" Jerry Brotton, author of This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World

"A compelling read about a history of Britain rarely cited and one that enriches an understanding of our complex, intriguing and wonderful past" Daljit Nagra

  • Published: 12 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473566248
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the author

Fatima Manji

Fatima Manji is an award-winning broadcaster and journalist, best known from Channel 4 News. She is regularly out on the road reporting on a range of national and international stories or in the studio grilling those in power and setting the agenda for debates of the day. She studied Government and History at the London School of Economics, before embarking upon a career in journalism, initially as a trainee at the BBC. In 2012, she joined Channel 4 News and has gone on to become a familiar face on our television screens and a rare public figure from an underrepresented minority background.

Praise for Hidden Heritage

Hidden Heritage is a timely, brilliant and very brave book that reveals the deep ties that connect Britain with the Islamic world. Written with great flair and deep empathy, it should be read by anyone interested in this country's agonised soul-searching over its multi-cultural identity

Jerry Brotton, author of This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England and the Islamic World

A compelling read about a history of Britain rarely cited and one that enriches an understanding of our complex, intriguing and wonderful past. An upbeat and important narrative that roars with tigers, with the soldiers of the Great War amid the grand homes we might visit of a weekend. Each object discussed is a gateway to a thrilling story from the past that is always presented responsibly by an impressive historian

Daljit Nagra

This is such an important, brave book that sheds a calm, bright light on the complexity of history at a time when simplistic assumptions have become the norm. It is truly brilliant

Elif Shafak

Original and engaging... This remarkable and thought-provoking book should be compulsory reading not just for those who work in stately homes but also for all who worry about Britain's historical amnesia

Jane Ridley, Literary Review

This nuanced and often poignant book adds new colour and dimension to discussions about Britain's imperial past

History Revealed

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