The Bodley Head acquires Michael Taylor’s new history of the British abolition of slavery in a five-way auction

Friday 27th July 2018

The UK & Commonwealth rights to The Garden of Good and Evil by debut historian Michael Taylor have been acquired by Will Hammond, deputy publishing director at The Bodley Head, in a five-way auction from Donald Winchester.

The Garden of Good and Evil is a deeply researched, gripping narrative history that offers a dramatic new account of Britain’s abolition of slavery. Drawing on a mass of original research into Britain’s pro-slavery movement, it exposes for the first time the full and chilling extent of the forces rallied to prevent the slaves’ emancipation.

Will Hammond said: ‘This is a major and radical work of British colonial history that will inspire intense debate and challenge us to re-think an episode in our past that has too often been oversimplified and glorified as a triumph. Michael Taylor weaves this important story together with exceptional flair.’

Michael Taylor said: ‘As Britain and many other nations now struggle to address the legacies of their colonial histories, there has never been a better time to consider the reality of slaveholding and the British establishment’s often explicit support for slavery. This is a story that needs telling, and I’m delighted to be telling it with Bodley Head.’

The debut is scheduled for publication in 2020.