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Hermione Eyre to Cape
11.04.12 | Charlotte Williams
Jonathan Cape has acquired a debut novel by journalist Hermione Eyre, based on the lives of two Stuart courtiers.
Publisher Dan Franklin bought UK and Commonwealth rights to historical novel Viper Wine through Charlie Campbell at Ed Victor.
The book is set at Whitehall Palace in 1632, as England descends into civil war, and focuses on courtiers Venetia Stanley and Sir Kenelm Digby. The "Viper Wine" is a "potent new beauty tonic", dispensed by physician Lancelot Choice. Stanley secretly takes the tonic, looking ever more youthful as she grows older. Digby is Stanley's husband, bearing the guilt of his father's participation in the Gunpowder Plot and devoted to his wife, but unable to save her from her addiction to the tonic.
Franklin said: "Viper Wine is a delight: every sentence is a gem, its portrait of a marriage is totally convincing, but what I fell in love with was its playfulness, its wit. I think Hermione Eyre is a novelist with an exciting future ahead of her."
Eyre is a journalist whose writing has featured in the Times, the Independent and the London Evening Standard Magazine. She co-authored with William Donaldson The Dictionary of National Celebrity.