Dublin-based indie Lilliput Press will publish The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small by Neil Jordan, a novel inspired by the life of Irish aristocrat and revolutionary Lord Edward Fitzgerald.
Publisher Antony Farrell acquired world rights (excluding North America) directly from the author. North American rights are being handled by the Marianne Gunn O'Connor Literary Agency.
Set in the 18th century, the tale will be narrated by Lord Edward Fitzgerald’s relatively unknown manservant Tony Small, a runaway slave who rescued Lord Edward after the Battle of Eutaw Springs during the American War of Independence. In the novel, Small examines the ironies of empire, captivity and freedom and reflects on Lord Edward’s journey from being a loyal servant of the British Empire to becoming a 1798 rebellion leader.
Farrell said: "This story is populated with a brimming cast of characters, from Molly, who works as a maid in Leinster House, to Lord Edward’s lover, Elizabeth Sheridan, her husband, playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Camden. Neil Jordan’s new novel encapsulates the turmoil of burgeoning empire as freedoms are contested on the streets of Dublin, London and Paris, and through the outreaches of North America. The theatre and ferment of life during this revolutionary time reaches its apogee in this extraordinary historical novel."
Jordan commented: "I am thrilled to be published by Lilliput, particularly for this novel, which is, among other things, an outsider’s perspective on 18th-century Dublin and on the Irish struggle against empire. The editorial input from the Press has been superb."
The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small will be published in February 2021.