Granta editorial director Bella Lacey has won world rights to a history of wool in Britain by Fife-based writer Esther Rutter.
This Golden Fleece: A Very British History of Wool was won in a two-way auction handled by Jenny Brown at Jenny Brown Associates.
This Golden Fleece will tell the story of Britain’s long love affair with wool, and its influence on our history, landscape, and culture. Rutter grew up on a sheep farm in Suffolk, and learned to spin, weave and knit as a child. In the book, she travels the length of the British Isles from Shetland to the West Country, to unearth histories of communities shaped by the wool trade, and makes garments connected to those places - gloves, a scarf, socks, a fisherman’s jumper, a blanket - to remind us of the value of local craft and our long and complex relationship with wool.
Lacey said: "I’ve been captivated by Esther Rutter’s absorbing history of wool and her intimate, inspiring mediation of the craft and history of knitting. She’s an instinctive storyteller, with a brilliant eye for detail, and brings startling new, and forgotten, histories to the surface."
Rutter lives in the village of Ceres in Fife and has just been awarded a Writer in Residence position at St Andrews University within the School of Geography and Sustainable Development. Agent Jenny Brown took her book on following a New Year Tweet Pitch organised with Inverness creative industries festival XPONorth, with Rutter one of hundreds of new writers who pitched their book ideas in 140 characters over 24 hours.
Rutter commented: "Tweet Your Pitch is a fantastic initiative, enabling new non-fiction writers like me to grab the attention of publishers and agents with a dash of chutzpah and a good idea. Without this competition it would have taken me much longer to attract not only a well-respected and experienced agent, but also a fantastic publisher and the opportunity to be a Writer in Residence. Thank you XpoNorth for making my long-held dream of becoming a writer into a reality.”
This Golden Fleece is scheduled for publication in autumn 2019.