My new novel Radical Love was published by Penguin Random House on 1 June 2023


Praise for Radical Love


'Astounding...I relished every page.'


'Imaginative, layered and clever, Radical Love confirms Blackmore as being one of the most original voices in historical fiction today.' The Times, Best Historical Fiction Of The Month


"Both a celebration of the erotic lives of long-dead gay Londoners and a lament for past persecutions, Radical Love is a powerful story of desire flourishing amid danger" The Sunday Times, Best Historical Fiction of 2023 (June)


"Blunt, raw and unapologetically sexual, Radical Love is a story of human flaws, the dangers of both honesty and deception, and idealism in the face of cruel reality. With plenty of references to penetrating truths that still resonate two centuries later, it holds a lens up to 19th-century existence, whilst asking uncomfortable questions of our own." The Independent


"In Neil Blackmore's latest historical novel, the city drips with forbidden desire...a page turner." The Telegraph


"Full of urgent questions about individual and collective freedoms and the writing of history, this is in fact most memorable as a character study...(Church's) psychic damage and emotional blinkers render him terribly, compellingly real." Daily Mail


"A tale of courage and survival, richly imagined and full of pitch-perfect period detail and sly wit." The Bookseller


"A complex, thought-provoking tale, and a must-read for anyone seeking to explore the intersection of love, resistance, and the triumph of the human spirit." Buzz Magazine


'I was staggered by this book; one of the boldest novelistic explorations of desire I have read in some time. Frighteningly prescient...'
KEIRAN GODDARD, author of Hourglass


'Don't look for heroes here - look for life as it's really lived, people as they really are.'
ANNIE GARTHWAITE, author of Cecily


"Breathtaking... An unforgettable book."
ELIZABETH LEE, author of Cunning Women


Welcome to England, 1809. London is a violent, intolerant city, exhausted by years of war, beset by soaring prices and political tensions. By day, John Church preaches on the radical possibilities of love to a multicultural, working-class congregation in Southwark. But by night, he crosses the river to the secret and glamorous world of a gay molly house on Vere Street, where ordinary men reinvent themselves as funny, flirtatious drag queens and rent boys cavort with labourers and princes alike. There, Church becomes the first minister to offer marriages between men, at enormous risk.

Everything changes when Church meets the unworldly and free-thinking Ned, part of a group of African activist abolitionists who attend his chapel. The two bond over their broken childhoods, and Church falls obsessively in love with Ned's tender nature. In a fragile, colourful secret world under threat, Church's love for Ned takes him to the edge of reason.

Based on the incredible true story of one of the most important events in queer history, Radical Love is a sensuous and prescient story about gender and sexuality, and how the most vulnerable survive in dangerous times.


My literary agent is Veronique Baxter at David Higham Associates.


Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @NeilBlackmo




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© Neil Blackmore