The Sultan’s Spymaster Book Launch 11 May

PeeraDewjeeCoverFinal copy for publicity

You are invited to the London Book Launch of
Peera Dewjee of Zanzibar

The Lancaster Hall Hotel, 35 Craven Terrace,
London W2 3EL

Wednesday 11th May. 7.30 pm

After an introduction by Jatinder Verma, Artistic Director of Tara Arts, the author Judy Aldrick will give a short presentation about her research and show historic photographs and drawings of Zanzibar.

Copies of the book will be available for sale and tea and coffee served. Admission is free. All are most welcome.

The Sultan’s Spymaster tells the story of Peera Dewjee, an Ismaili merchant who crossed
from India to Zanzibar as a boy. Lamp cleaner, then valet and barber to Sultan Barghash, he rose from humble beginnings to become the Sultan’s most trusted confidant and adviser.

Peera Dewjee acted behind the scenes during momentous events in the history of Zanzibar and East Africa – the closing of the slave markets and imperial expansion by Germany and Britain.

Judy Aldrick wrote the book at the request of Peera Dewjee’s great grandson Hussein. He and his wife Audrey are active in work on British Black History, especially in the Yorkshire Diasporian Stories Research Group. They are also readers of this blog.

Last year Audrey was particularly involved in commemorating the life of Thomas Rutling, a founder member of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, who stayed in Britain as a soloist and music teacher living in Harrogate, where there is a plaque to him.  In 1915 he suffered a fatal stroke while on the beach at Morecambe


About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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