A collective biography of the Beatles, which will fill three volumes to be published at four-year intervals beginning in 2008, has been signed at Crown by publisher Steve Ross. The author is Mark Lewisohn, widely regarded as the world's leading Beatles authority, who has already written four books on the mop-tops and helped compile the bestselling Beatles Anthology. The first volume (none are titled yet) will follow the group from their childhoods to the threshold of stardom; the second will recount their global saturation in the years 1964—1967; and the third will cover their breakup, the deaths of Lennon and Harrison, and the subsequent careers of Paul and Ringo. The deal was signed with Mark Reiter, who represents the U.S. office of the U.K. agents Peters Fraser & Dunlop.