Sceptre has pre-empted Self-Made by journalist and novelist Tara Isabella Burton, a history of "self-making" from the Renaissance to the present day, promising "a brilliant contribution to the history of ideas from a blazing talent".
Associate publisher Juliet Brooke acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Self-Made: Curating our Image from Da Vinci to the Kardashians from Rebecca Carter at Janklow & Nesbit UK. Emma Parry from Janklow & Nesbit US sold North American rights to Clive Priddle at Public Affairs.
"Self-Made is an exceptional history of ideas and a contemporary critique on the story of self-making from the Renaissance to the present day," reads the book's synopsis, explaining the "rich and vivid" history covering the phenomenon from the Enlightenment to its modern-day form. It covers curating the perfect Instagram shot, measuring oneself by likes and retweets and cultivating a persona for personal and professional gain. "Heroes and villains" of the practice throughout history are taken in as part of the study, including Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, Beau Brummell, Josephine Baker, Gabriele D’Annunzio and the Kardashians.
Brooke said: "Tracking both what joins us to the past and how ideas have mutated and soured, Tara Isabella Burton shows how an ideal once associated with enfranchisement and liberty has become more about product placement and fakery. Starring a host of fabulous characters and told with lively wit, Self-Made is a brilliant contribution to the history of ideas from a blazing talent."
Burton said: "Writing a history of self-creation, blending the intellectual history of liberalism, the economic history of capitalism and the social history of the rise of celebrity culture, has always been a dream of mine. I’m so thrilled to finally be able to bring this passion project to the page, and couldn’t ask for a more brilliant editorial team to help it take shape."