This book, which provides a collection from scholars in the field of the precolonial history of Western Africa (the region between Senegal and Sierra Leone), aims to bring the history of the region to wider historical attention. It spans the whole pre-colonial period between the first Portuguese voyages of discovery and the transition to legitimate commerce in the 19th century, and as a whole offers a synthesis of the importance of this region of Africa in the emergence of the Atlantic world between the 15th and 19th centuries. The book is divided into five parts. Part 1 looks at African‐European relations from a comparative perspective, analysing the themes of creolisation and Euro-African communities in Western Africa and beyond, in Elmina and Sao Tome. Part 2 looks at the Atlantic dimension of trade, with chapters looking at Dutch, English and French engagements with the region. Part 3 looks at island contexts, and the role of the Capeverde islands as transshippers of culture and connections to the Caribbean. Part 4 looks at the trade in slaves and commodities, and the effects this commerce had on African societies. Finally, Part 5 looks at Western Africa in the era of the transition to ‘legitimate commerce’ in the run-up to the colonial era.