S&S snaps up Isaacson's Leonardo da Vinci biography

S&S snaps up Isaacson's Leonardo da Vinci biography

Simon & Schuster UK will publish a biography of Leonard da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, author of iSteve, The Book of Jobs, based on “new discoveries about his life and work”.

Iain MacGregor, publishing director, non-fiction, at S&S UK acquired UK/Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Amanda Urban of ICM.

Leonardo da Vinci: A New Biography is based on thousands of pages from his notebooks and explores the connection between da Vinci’s art and his science as well as his "ease at being something of a misfit". Ian Chapman, chief executive and publisher of S&S UK, said the book would be a "truly global publishing event" and was "impeccably researched". 

The publisher said: “This book paints a picture of da Vinci the man, bringing to life his delight at combining diverse passions which remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. It also conveys his ease at being something of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted and, at times, heretical.”

MacGregor said the book will encourage readers to question knowledge. He said: "This biography of da Vinci’s astounding life will remind us of the importance of instilling, in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think differently.”

Isaacson said: “Leonardo da Vinci is history's most creative genius, and for me he is the climax of writing about how great innovators are those who can connect art to science and humanities to technology."

Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, iSteve: The Book of Jobs, (published by Little, Brown in the UK and S&S US) sold 379,000 copies in America in its first week on bookshop shelves, BookScan US data revealed. S&S UK published Isaacson's biography Einstein: His Life and Universe in 2007 and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life in 2003. He is a former chairman and c.e.o. of CNN and was appointed by former US president Barack Obama as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in 2009.