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Now updated and available in paperback, this is the first extended study of black and Asian writing in Britain over the last 250 years. Beginning with authors who arrived as immigrants or slaves in the mid-eighteenth century, Innes includes a detailed discussion of works that were often enormously popular in their own time but are almost unknown to contemporary readers. Innes's fascinating study reveals a history of vigorous and fertile interaction between black, Asian and white intellectuals and communities, and an enormously rich and varied literary culture which was already in existence before the post-war efflorescence of black and Asian writing. Utilising a wealth of archival material, Innes examines their work as part of an acceptance of and challenge to British cultural and ideological discourses. This volume offers a rich historical background for understanding contemporary British multicultural society and culture and will be of interest to literary and cultural historians.