Toby Green

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Toby Green is a British historian who is a Professor of Precolonial and Lusophone African History and Culture at King's College London. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in African studies at the University of Birmingham. He is Chair of the Fontes Historiae Africanae Committee of the British Academy, and has written extensively about African early modern history and colonial African slavery, mainly focussed on slavery in the Portuguese colonies.


He has also written on the Spanish Inquisition. [1] Green disagrees with the notion of a Black Legend of the Spanish Inquisition and often quotes sixteenth-century sources regarding the institution's abuse of power in Latin America, and is often cited regarding this subject. He has other publications regarding the issues of religious prosecution and oppression in Africa and other European colonies. His interests are slavery in the Atlantic and cultural and economic links between America and Africa. [2]

His book A Fistful of Shells won the 2019 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding [3] and was shortlisted for the 2020 Wolfson History Prize. [4]

Views on the Spanish Inquisition

Green addresses the Spanish Inquisition mainly through Hispano-American sources. He notes that the great unchecked power given to inquisitors meant that they were "widely seen as above the law" [5] and sometimes had motives for imprisoning and sometimes executing alleged offenders other than for the purpose of punishing religious nonconformity, mainly in Iberoamerica. [5] [6] [7]



Green, T. 28 Sep 2017 In : Journal of Global Slavery. 2, p. 310-336

Major books (selected only)

Further reading

A Fistful of Shells by Toby Green review – the west African slave trade - The Guardian

What heart of darkness? Busting myths about West African history - The Telegraph

Related Research Articles

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  1. Pindar, Ian (25 August 2007). "Review of The Inquisition: The Reign of Fear by Toby Green". The Guardian.
  2. "King's College London - Dr Toby Green". Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  3. "'A Fistful of Shells' wins 2019 Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize". Books+Publishing. 2019-10-31. Retrieved 2019-11-08.
  4. "Shortlist announced for £40k Wolfson History Prize". Books+Publishing. 2020-04-30. Retrieved 2020-05-05.
  5. 1 2 Green, Toby (2007). Inquisition : the Reign of Fear . New York: Thomas Dunne Books. pp.  4–5. ISBN   978-0-312-53724-1.
  6. Archivo General de las Indias, Seville, Santa Fe 228, Expediente 63
  7. Archivo General de las Indias, Seville, Santa Fe 228, Expediente 81A, n.33