Pan Macmillan has wrestled a two-book deal with a research associate at University of East Anglia (UEA) from underbidders William Collins and Penguin Press.
Georgina Morley, editorial director for non-fiction at Pan Macmillan, did the deal with Georgina Capel for UK & Commonwealth rights in two books by historian Sophie Ambler.
Ambler, who Morley describes as "one of the brightest young historians I’ve met", teaches at UEA in addition to her role as a senior post doctoral research associate on UEA's AHRC-funded Magna Carta Project. Her first book is a biography of Simon de Montfort, the baron who led a rebellion against Henry III - England's first revolution - and became de facto ruler of England for two years. It is based on the latest scholarship and is promised to bring the Middle Ages "vividly to life, conveying all the excitement and drama of the period". The second book in the deal will be an account of what it meant to be a medieval soldier.
Morley said: "I knew the minute I read the first lines of the proposal that she was a star in the making and we were all absolutely delighted to win the hotly contested auction."
Ambler is also currently co-writing a GCSE textbook on Medieval Britain for Anthem Press.