Fig Tree has acquired rights to the “remarkable and tragic” story of Dr Margaret Orange by Louise Hide.
Juliet Annan, publishing director at Fig Tree, bought World English language rights to The Case of Dr Margaret Orange, a book about “a fascinating piece of social history”, from literary agent Piers Blofeld of Sheil Land Associates.
This “amazing and multi-layered” book tells of Orange’s experiences as one of the first women to practise psychiatry in the UK and interweaves it with the experiences of the author who “remarkably” also grew up inside the grounds of a psychiatric hospital.
Annan said: “In 1897, Margaret Orange arrived at Claybury, a purpose built asylum on the outskirts of London. She was 28 years of age and fresh out of medical school. Just three years later Margaret disappeared from the records. Why? This is the riveting mystery that Louise Hide brilliantly explores, weaving in her own experiences and extraordinary accounts of madness, psychiatry and the rise and fall of feminism in the medical profession.”
Blofeld said: “Some lives are just crying out to be rescued from obscurity and from the moment Louise told me about Margaret Orange I was fascinated by this remarkable and courageous woman. I couldn’t have been more thrilled that a publisher of Juliet Annan’s stature shared that fascination.”
Hide is currently a research fellow of Birkbeck College, London.
The Case of Dr Margaret Orange will be published by Fig Tree as a lead title in Spring 2017.