Hodder and Stoughton has acquired Windblown after a "keenly contested" auction, a narrative non-fiction title written to mark the 30th anniversary of 1987's Great Storm.
The book by Tamsin Treverton Jones, head of press for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Court Theatre and Bath Literature Festival, reflects on the "apocalyptic trail of destruction" and "remarkable legacy" of one of the most extreme storms in living memory.
Moving from The Bay of Biscay into the English Channel, across the south and east, over London and finally out into The Wash, the Great Storm killed 18 people and felled more than 15 million trees in a single night.
Treverton Jones will look at the way it has transformed our attitude to trees, to woodland conservation and to the natural environment. She said: "A unique personal connection inspired me to write Windblown. My late father designed The Kew Mural, a sculpture carved with a thousand individual pieces of wood from trees that fell at Kew Gardens. The more I researched the events before, during and after that terrifying night, the more I wanted to write about this 30-year storm."
Hodder and Stoughton non-fiction publisher Rupert Lancaster said: "Tamsin is a superb writer and as soon as I read the proposal I knew I had to publish this book. The 30th anniversary next year makes this the perfect time for the storm to be properly commemorated and its true significance more widely understood."
Hodder and Stoughton acquired British Commonwealth rights including serial and audio from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown.