A site on British historian and writer Toby Green
About Toby Green
Career and Influences
Academic work
A Fistful of Shells
Recent Book on African History
Thoughts for the future
Early historical books
Published fiction by Toby Green
Current Affairs and Journalism
Features and books on history and current affairs
Early Travel Books
Published Travel Books
Media, Speaking and Contacts
Public events and contact details


With colleagues at a teachers' workshop in Bintang, The Gambia, July 2023

With colleagues at a teachers' workshop, Bintang, The Gambia, July 2023

Toby Green is Professor of Precolonial and Lusophone African History and Culture at King's College London. Chair of the Fontes Historiae Africanae Committee of the British Academy, Green is also an Honorary Fellow of the Historical Association. He was awarded a 2017 Philip Leverhulme Prize in History, and (with Filipa Ribeiro da Silva and Philip Havik) the American Library Association's Best Historical Materials Award for their co-edited volume The Inquisition Trial of Crispina Peres of Cacheu, Guinea-Bissau (1646-1668). He is also an editor of the journal, African Economic History, and a member of the Executive Editorial Board of the Journal of West African History.

Green's major historical publications are the sole-authored works The Rise of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Western Africa, 1300-1589 (CUP, 2012), and Inquisition: The Reign of Fear (Macmillan/St. Martin's Press, 2007); and, as editor or co-editor, The Inquisition Trial of Crispina Peres of Cacheu, Guinea-Bissau (1646-1668)(OUP, 2021); Landscapes, Sources and Intellectual Projects of the West African Past (Brill, 2018); Guinea-Bissau: Micro State to 'Narco-State' (Hurst/OUP 2016), and Brokers of Change: Atlantic Commerce and Cultures in Pre-Colonial Western Africa (OUP, 2012). He has published articles in journals including Atlantic Studies, Journal of African History, Journal of Global Slavery, History in Africa, Past and Present, and Slavery and Abolition.

His 2019 history of precolonial West Africa was written through the lens of economic and transnational links between West Africa and the world: A Fistful of ShellsWest Africa From the Rise of the Slave Trade to the Age of Revolution was published by Allen Lane in the UK in January 2019, and by Chicago University Press in the US in March 2019. The book was awarded the 2019 Nayef Al-Rohdan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding, and the 2020 Jerry Bentley Prize in World History and Historical Writers' Association Non-Fiction Crown.

Green has worked extensively with colleagues in West Africa and Brazil. He has co-organised events with institutions in Angola, Brazil, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. He has also given lectures at research centres in Senegal, as well as at many universities in Europe and the USA. In June 2015 and April 2017 he co-organised  with Lucy Duran (SOAS - Music) two workshops funded by the British Academy bringing together historians and musicians from the Greater Senegambia region of West Africa. He has received grants funding various research projects as Principal Investigator from the AHRC, British Academy, British Library, the European Union, and the Leverhulme Trust.

Dancing after one of the sessions at the Greater Senegambia workshop

Dancing after one of the sessions at the Greater Senegambia Workshop

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