Mark Forsyth, author behind bestselling books The Etymologicon, The Horologicon and The Elements of Eloquence, all published with Icon, is writing a second book for Viking, this time on the history of drunkenness.
Forsyth, who also writes a blog, The Inky Fool, was poached by Viking in January to write A Christmas Cornucopia which publishes this week.
His next book, A Short History of Drunkenness, will publish with Viking in November 2017. It traces humankind’s love affair with booze through history - from our primate ancestors through to prohibition and modern Japanese "nomikai" (drinking with colleagues) - to reveal who drank what, where and why.
Daniel Crewe, publisher at Viking, bought world rights from Julia Kingsford at Kingsford Campbell.
Forsyth said: “Almost every culture in history has got drunk, but in every one the place of drunkenness is different. Sacred drinking, morning drinking, drinking at work and drinking to communicate with the spirits of the ancestors (which would be an odd thing to do in the pub on a Friday night). Despite extensive empirical research starting at the age of fourteen, I still don't really know what exactly drunkenness is, but from the ancient Egyptian Festival of Intoxication all the way up to drunken astronauts, I'm determined to find out.”
Crewe said: “Shuperb, shupeeerb, hic”.