Head of Zeus has landed a début trilogy of novels from historian Dan Jones, following the misadventures of a rogue company of English soldiers as they fight their way across France at the outset of the Hundred Years' War.
C.e.o. Nicolas Cheetham acquired world rights, including audio, from Georgina Capel at Georgina Capel Associates. The first book, The Essex Dogs, will be published in hardback, trade paperback, e-book and audio in July 2021, with the next two titles following in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
Head of Zeus said: “Essex Dogs covers six weeks in the summer of 1346 when Edward III led 15,000 soldiers from the beaches of Normandy to the field of Crécy, where the cream of the French nobility was slaughtered, along – or so it seemed – with chivalry itself.”
Jones explained: “The outcome of this battle – and the experience of the Normandy campaign that preceded it – would shape the course of European history for a century afterwards. It forged the shape of nations, and the fabric of human lives.
“The question was, how was I going to tell this story? The Essex Dogs provided the definitive answer… and this is how it went down."
His second book will take the Essex Dogs to the year-long siege of Calais, while the third follows an ill-fated expedition escorting the Edward III’s 13-year-old daughter to Castile, where she was due to marry the heir to the throne.
Cheetham said: “Dan’s Templars and Crusaders prove his credentials not only as a major historian, but also as a master storyteller. Like a Crécy longbowman, his aim is unerring. No one can pick a high-value narrative target from the historical melee better than he can. Unlike a Crécy longbowman, Dan brings his targets to life. We’re delighted to conscript Dan's skills in the service of historical fiction.”