Quercus has acquired The Deception of Harriet Fleet, a historical fiction debut set in the landscape of County Durham, described as a "recasting of Jane Eyre" that is "chilling, dark and brimming with suspense".
Jane Wood, publisher, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Giles Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Agency. She said: "This novel swept me back to the Brontës and those fantastic 19th works that we grew up with. Yet The Deception of Harriet Fleet has an added dimension. Seen through modern eyes, the book reminds us how frustrating life was then for clever women who dared to voice the slightest intellectual ambition. I believe this novel will appeal to women of all ages and look forward eagerly to launching it."
The book's author is Helen Scarlett, an English teacher of over 20 years. She said: "I'm absolutely thrilled that The Deception of Harriet Fleet will be published by Quercus. I couldn't think of a better home for my novel and I'm so excited to be working with someone as talented and knowledgeable as Jane. I've also been lucky with all the support I've received from my wonderful agent Giles Milburn. I'm really looking forward to seeing my first novel in print."
Quercus will publish in spring 2021.