Faber have bought a history of measurement by a "hugely talented young non-fiction writer", James Vincent.
Editorial director Laura Hassan acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada in a two-book deal with Sophie Scard at United Agents.
Beyond Measure is described by Faber as a "fascinating and idiosyncratic history of a subject that invisibly shapes our lives: metrology”.
Vincent, dubbed "hugely talented" by Faber, will explore the origins of measurement encompasses science and politics as well as culture and social history, spanning the French Revolution, English enclosure laws, and America's anti-metric movement.
"From the kilogram standard Le Grand K (recently replaced because it was losing weight) to the 'collop' (an Irish unit used to measure the land needed to graze a single cow) the book brims with curious facts, revealing how measurement symbolises our quest for dependable truth in a chaotic universe,” the publisher said.
Hassan said: "I loved this proposal - it does exactly what the very best non-fiction does by shifting the way the reader encounters the world. Beyond Measure got me thinking about the construction of facts and knowledge itself. There is real vim to Vincent's voice on the page and his history of measurement is deeply surprising and enjoyable. I have no doubt that this book marks the start of a significant literary career."
Vincent said: "Whether we know it or not, the concept of measurement is deeply embedded in all our lives and has influenced much about the world, from scientific discoveries to the creation of the modern state. I'm excited to be able to write about this subject and extremely pleased that Faber has decided to publish it."
A journalist and writer from London, Vincent has worked and written for numerous publications including the Independent, Financial Times, Wired, New Statesman. He is currently a senior reporter for the Verge covering artificial intelligence and robotics.
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