William Collins has landed a new history on the Interregnum period by Anna Keay, the director of the Landmark Trust, a charity which rescues buildings of historic interest or architectural merit and then makes them available for holiday rental.
Arabella Pike, publishing director, bought UK and Commonwealth rights, including Canada and Europe, to The Restless Republic: Britain Without a Crown from Andrew Gordon at David Higham Associates. It will publish on 3rd March 2022 in hardback, e-book and audio.
The book tells the story of 11 years when Britain was governed without a monarch through nine figures who made names for themselves during this time. Among them were Anna Trapnel, the young prophet whose visions transfixed the nation; John Bradshaw, the Cheshire lawyer who found himself prosecuting Charles I; Gerald Winstanley, the man who saw a utopia where land was shared and no one went hungry; William Petty, the precocious academic whose audacious enterprise to map Ireland led to the dispossession of tens of thousands; the redoubtable Countess of Derby, who defended, fiercely, the last Royalist stronghold on the Isle of Man; and Marchamont Nedham, the irrepressible newspaper man and puppet-master of propaganda.
The publisher said: "The Restless Republic ranges from the corridors of Westminster to the common fields of England. Gathering her cast of trembling visionaries and banished royalists, dexterous mandarins and bewildered bystanders, Anna Keay brings to vivid life to the most extraordinary and experimental decade in Britain’s history."
Pike said: "Anna Keay’s new book proves just how much better history can be than fiction. Winners, losers, those who kept fighting or who yearned for a quiet life—all are represented in the diverse cast of characters through which she tells the restless story of Britain as a republic. Heartbreaking, vivid and brilliantly researched, it offers a completely original and radically new picture of these revolutionary years."
Keay added: "For too long, accounts of our republican experiment have been dominated by battles and acts of parliament. The Restless Republic is a history of Britain in the 1650s told through people, featuring gardeners and visionaries, newspapermen (and women) and acrobats, impresarios and cartographers, scientists and cynics, shipwrights and die-hard royalists."
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