The Last Dumas
Claiborne Hancock, publisher of fledgling Pegasus Books, has acquired world English rights to a previously unpublished, recently unearthed novel by Alexandre Dumas, said to be his last known major missing novel, titled The Last Cavalier: Being the Adventures of the Count of Saint-Hermine in the Age of Napoleon. Hancock, who had his eye on the manuscript for some time, will publish in hardcover in December 2006 as part of Pegasus's second list. A bestseller all summer in France under the title Le Chevalier de Sainte-Hermine, the novel is the final volume of a trilogy detailing the fall of an aristocratic family over the course of the postrevolutionary and Napoleonic eras; it was discovered in the archives of the National Library in Paris by Dumas scholar Claude Schopp. Hancock acquired rights from Hanvey Hsiung at the French Publishers' Agency.
Cooke's Time Capsule
It's been a good week for lost manuscripts. Alistair Cooke's The American Home Front 1941—1942, rediscovered by the author just before his death in 2004, was acquired by Morgan Entrekin at Grove from Colin Webb at the U.K. agent and packager Palazzo. Cooke, who became familiar to millions of Americans through his weekly "Letter from America" for the BBC, and later as presenter for Masterpiece Theatre, here chronicles the circuit of the entire country he made in the early '40s, describing the American transition from peacetime to war in a travelogue that anticipates his reports and broadcasts for the next 60 years. Grove, which has U.S. rights only, will publish next spring.
Asian Economics, American Politics
In a significant auction involving five bidders, Maria Guarnaschelli at Norton acquired world rights to Robyn Meredith's The Elephant and the Dragon: India and China, the World's Winning Markets and What It Means for the Rest of Us from agent Alice Martell. Meredith, Forbes magazine's Asia editor, believes many Americans make the mistake of lumping the two countries together when thinking of them in a business context. Her book will assess whether the rise of India and of China are threats or opportunities for the U.S. Publication is scheduled for winter 2007.
Martell also just closed a worldwide deal for Jim Cullen's Hail to the (Fallible) Chief: Turning Points in the Lives of Presidents with Palgrave Macmillan's AlessandraBastagli. Cullen, author of Born in the USA: Bruce Springsteen and the American Tradition and The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation, and a history teacher in NYC, will focus on the human dimension of the presidency. The book will be published in fall 2007.
Thomas Dunne has acquired world English and German rights to former Daily News editor Russ Hoyle's tentatively titled Going to War for his eponymous imprint at St. Martin's from Michael Carlisle at Inkwell. Hoyle will investigate the White House's role in shaping intelligence reporting, focusing on the months leading up to the start of the Iraq war and featuring a colorful cast of characters including Joseph Wilson, Judith Miller, Ahmed Chalabi and Colin Powell. Dunne plans to publish Going to War in spring 2007.
Sen. Edward Kennedy's new book, America Back on Track, which argues that America is at a critical crossroads, has been acquired by Viking president Clare Ferraro for publication in spring 2006; Ferraro bought North American rights from Sterling Lord at auction....Norton senior editor Angela von der Lippe's novel The Truth About Lou, based on the life of poet Lou Salome, was acquired by Elizabeth Maguire for Counterpoint. Agent Kim Witherspoon sold world rights; publication is expected in fall 2006.