Melville House UK has acquired world rights to Brolliology, the first book by head of promotions at Foyles, Charing Cross, Marion Rankine.
Brolliology is a "quirky and literary" book about the "humble" umbrella.
The publisher said: "Exploring the many facets of the umbrella, (an item no good Brit leaves the house without) Rankine looks into the origin of its design and purpose, reaching deep into history to explore the meanings and symbolism attached the brolly, while also taking the reader on a tour of those literary umbrellas we find adorning the pages of our favourite books, from Charles Dickens to J K Rowling."
The book will be given a "beautiful package to reflect its whimsical and lyrical nature", complete with colour illustrations.
Melville House founder Dennis Johnson said: “I first met Marion when my wife and I walked into Foyles and she tried to sell us a copy of one of our own books. I was smitten, but even more so to learn she was a writer working on a literary history of the umbrella. And what a bizarre, unexpected history it is, with perverse twists of classism and sexism and technological innovation. Marion's prose and story telling, as it turns out, is as charming and quirky and richly informed as she herself is.”
Rankine said: “When I first sat down to write an essay on literary brollies, I never dreamed it would unfurl into a book-long study spanning genres, cultures, art forms and millennia. I am absolutely thrilled that it has found a home with Melville House, and can't wait to see Brolliology in its final, full-colour form!”
Brolliology will be published in autumn 2017.