Icon finds title which inspired Olympic ceremony

Icon finds title which inspired Olympic ceremony

Icon Books has acquired the book that inspired Danny Boyle's Olympic Opening Ceremony, which was originally published in 1985.

Editorial director Duncan Heath bought world rights in Pandaemonium by Humphrey Jennings from Jennings' daughter Marie-Louise Jennings, to whom the rights had reverted. The new edition will be published in just a few weeks, on 4th October.

The book was first published by Deutsch in 1985 and edited by Diana Athill. Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote the scenario for the Opening Ceremony, has written a new foreword for the book. The title is a collage of material taken from letters, diaries, literature, scientific journals and newspaper reports between 1660 and 1886. The book covers events such as the Luddite Riots, the Peterloo Masacre as well as accounts of child labour, the desecration of the natural world and the coming of the railways.

Heath said: "Pandæmonium is an extraordinary book that offers a rich tapestry of human experience and an eclectic take on the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the British consciousness. This ground-breaking work by Jennings tells an epic tale of hope, loss, suffering and progress. It’s a highly original artistic achievement in its own right, and we are delighted to be bringing it back into print for rediscovery."