Hidden Heritage

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What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

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

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

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

© Fatima Manji 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Critics Review

  • 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

    Literary Review
  • 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
  • This nuanced and often poignant book adds new colour and dimension to discussions about Britain’s imperial past

    History Revealed
  • 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

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