William Collins has scooped an “era defining” history of contemporary Britain from broadcaster and author Andrew Marr.
Arabella Pike, publishing director, bought world rights to Elizabethans: How Modern Britain Happened from Mary Greenham at Newspresenters. It will be published in October.
Covering the course of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, Elizabethans is billed as an “original and thought-provoking social and political history of contemporary Britain, told through vivid pen-portraits of those who spearheaded change across such spheres as politics, culture, class, attitude, sexuality and freedom of expression”. According to the synopsis: “Each of these individual lives, the Elizabethans of the title, have been chosen carefully and included – for good or for ill – for their contribution to our national identity. Through them, this history of attitudes will assess how 1950s Britain evolved into the diverse, contradictory and divided country we live in today.”
Marr said: “For many years, I wanted to go back to the history of modern Britain, adding fresh stories and new ones. I’ve been particularly interested in attitudinal change: Elizabethans is the result, and I’m delighted to be working with William Collins on it.”
Pike added: “What does it mean to be British today? Is there still such a thing? And how have attitudes changed during the course of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign? These are the questions behind Andrew Marr’s wonderful new history told through a varied, entertaining and often surprising cast of ‘Elizabethans’ from all corners of these islands.”