Oneworld bags Spicer's story of British amateur spies

Oneworld bags Spicer's story of British amateur spies

Oneworld has acquired Charles Spicer’s debut title, Coffee with Hitler: The British Amateurs Who Tried to Civilise the Nazis, publishing in September 2022.

Coffee with Hitler tells the story of how a handful of British amateur spies, under the guise of the Anglo-German Fellowship, wined, dined and befriended some of the most senior Nazis. The synopsis explains: "The British government’s aloofness had alienated the German leaders fuelling their appetite for conflict. Far from appeasing the regime, this group gathered alarming intelligence that showed Neville Chamberlain’s foreign policy as bound to lead to war. These were neither career diplomats nor professional intelligence agents but ranged from a pacifist Welsh historian and a Great War flying ace to an Old Etonian butterfly collector. The book draws on newly discovered sources that reveal Winston Churchill’s true feelings about the state of play on the eve of war."

Editorial director Sam Carter acquired UK and British Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and audio rights from Katie Fulford of Bell Lomax Moreton Agency.

Spicer’s research is based on his recent doctorate, examined by leading historians including David Cannadine, Julie Gottlieb and Richard Overy. Commenting on the book, he said: "I am thrilled to be working with Sam and Oneworld on this book that challenges conventional interpretations of appeasement and the motives of those who took coffee with Hitler."

Carter added: "Charles combines rigorous research with storytelling verve, and he’s unearthed some startling details about this most studied of periods."