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W&N secures Beevor blockbuster
09.08.09 | Benedicte Page
Weidenfeld & Nicolson has bought a one-volume history of the Second World War from Antony Beevor, due out in 2012. W&N is thought to have paid a sum touching seven figures for the book, which will be the next title to come from the bestselling historian.
Beevor's agent Andrew Nurnberg said he was also in negotiations for a further book for Penguin. That title will come after the W&N history and its subject is "still to be decided", Nurnberg said.
W&N has published Beevor previously, most recently for his Spanish Civil War study, The Battle for Spain (2006). However, his big bestsellers Stalingrad and Berlin: The Downfall, and his current chart-topper D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, have all been published by Penguin.
W&N publisher Alan Sansom, who bought world English language rights in the new book after approaching Beevor to write it, described the acquisition as "thrilling" and "a step-up" in terms of the author's publishing with W&N.
He said Beevor was "born to write" a one-volume history of the Second World War. "He can synthesise highly complicated material across several theatres of war and still make you care about the individuals involved. It is likely that the big military leaders such as Rommel and Churchill will come across in quite a different way," he added.
Beevor said: "I was particularly excited to be invited to do this book with W&N, who published The Battle for Spain so successfully. It will be a new challenge to paint so large a canvas as the whole of the Second World War and I look forward to working with Alan Samson, an editor whom I greatly like and admire."
The new book, which is likely to be at least 700 pages long and titled simply The Second World War, is provisionally set for publication in 2012. Little, Brown and Company will publish the book in the United States.
Beevor's Stalingrad has sold well over 400,000 copies in all editions through Nielsen BookScan, and Berlin close to 200,000, while D-Day has sold over 100,000 copies since publication in hardback in May. The Battle for Spain has sold close to 70,000
copies through Nielsen BookScan.