Headline is publishing The Secret Life of the Savoy by Olivia Williams, a history of the luxury hotel and a biography of the family who founded it.
Senior commissioning editor Fiona Crosby acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Annabel Merullo at PFD.
"When Victorian theatre impresario Richard D'Oyly Carte opened The Savoy, Britain's first luxury hotel, it attracted glamour, scandal and a cast of eccentric characters," reads Headline's synopsis. "The Secret Life of the Savoy will tell the D’Oyly Carte family’s story through three generations—Richard, Rupert and Bridget—as they were elevated to a unique vantage point on high society through the roaring twenties and two world wars."
Crosby said: “From their Gilbert & Sullivan operas to The Savoy Hotel, the D’Oyly Carte family’s unique contribution to our cultural heritage has been sadly neglected until now. Olivia brings their story bursting back to life in this book, showing how their theatres and hotels became the stage for an incredible real-life cast of showmen, socialites, celebrities and royalty.”
Williams said: “It’s a pleasure to be the first person to write about the D’Oyly Carte family. Using their theatrical talent and love of the good life, they dreamed up the Savoy from scratch—and with it a lasting idea of what makes a luxury hotel. It wasn’t by accident that waiters kept two yards apart, and cutlery handles one inch from the table edge. The family took the basic idea of providing a bed for the night, and transformed it into both an art and a science.”
It will publish in hardback, priced £20, and as an e-book and audiobook on 3rd September 2020.