Hutchinson has acquired a history of St Petersburg by cultural historian Jonathan Miles.
Senior editor Sarah Rigby bought world English rights at auction for an undisclosed sum from Julian Alexander at LAW to St Petersburg: A City Of Murderous Desire.
The book will “recreate the drama of this absurd and brilliant city, beginning with the homicidal megalomania of its founder and the sadism of its early rulers”.
Hutchinson said: “It will follow its tyrants, subjects, subversives, artists, lovers and entrepreneurs as St Petersburg first turns itself into a vast work of art and then into the crucible for revolution, forming a backdrop to the great conflicts and upheavals of the 20th century. The story will continue to the present day, when, once more, the city’s fate hangs in the balance.”
Hutchinson will publish in hardback and e-book in summer 2017, the year of the centenary of the Russian Revolution.
Rigby said: “I am thrilled to be bringing Jonathan to the Hutchinson list. His ambition and passion for this Russian tale of murder, massacre and madness – played out against squalor and splendour – is infectious. St Petersburg promises to be an important and brilliant book, an unforgettable celebration of this incredible city and its inhabitants.”