HarperNorth has scooped a "sweeping historical romance" from 73-year-old debut novelist Lady Cecil Cameron.
Publishing director Genevieve Pegg acquired world all language rights for An Italian Scandal from Diana Beaumont at Marjacq. It will publish in hardback, audio and e-book this November.
Lady Cameron grew up near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders, daughter of the Marquis and Lady Lothian. Her grandmother came from Naples and is the inspiration behind her writing. Cecil read renaissance history at London University and subsequently worked for Save the Children in Vietnam and the UK. Married to the Chief of Clan Cameron, she was made an OBE in 2002 for services to children. Only after retirement did she have chance to write the novel she’d been thinking about for 30 years.
The publisher said An Italian Scandal "opens in London, 1859, where Carina Temple has put away the stifling black crepe demanded by the death of her father – but with it she has also cast aside society’s expectations of what a single young lady should be and do. When a stain on her reputation sees her banished to her grandmother in Sicily, Carina finds a turbulent nation in the throes of revolution".
Lady Cameron said: "My grandmother came from Naples and the book is inspired by my family’s bond with southern Italy and Sicily. Writing and history are my passions and I have wanted to set a love story against the turbulent backdrop of Garibaldi’s Italy for as long as I can remember. An Italian Scandal being published by HarperNorth is a dream come true."
Pegg added: "I was immediately captivated by the characters and the setting – who wouldn’t want to be transported to life under azure Italian skies? – but most of all by Carina and Ben – two leads who jump off the page with their authenticity and passion. For everyone who loves a true romance or period drama, here’s a story to lose yourself in. We’re delighted to publish Cecil on the HarperNorth list – and the ties that connect Cecil’s Scottish upbringing to an amazing family history in Naples are fascinating."