William Collins has acquired a nature writing book, The Hidden World of the Fox, from ecologist Adele Brand.
World rights in all languages to the initially self-published book were bought by Tom Killingbeck, commissioning editor at William Collins, directly from the author. Peter Hubbard at William Morrow has bought US rights. The book will be published in the UK in October 2019 with The Hidden World of the Fox slated for release in the US in 2020.
In the book, mammal ecologist Adele Brand "shines a light on one of Britain’s most familiar yet enigmatic animals, showing us how the astonishing senses, intelligence and behaviour that allowed foxes to thrive in the ancient wildwood now help them survive in the concrete car parks and clattering railway lines of our cities and towns,” William Collins said.
The result of a lifelong obsession, Surrey-born Brand "adds a wealth of first-hand experience to this charming, lyrical love letter to the fox, whether she’s fostering their cubs, studying their interactions with humans, or catching them on hidden cameras everywhere from the Białowieża forest of Poland and the Thar desert of India to the classic English countryside of her home in the North Downs”.
"While encounters with a host of furry acquaintances will delight and amuse, her message about the importance of living peaceably side-by-side with nature will linger long after the last page is turned,” the publisher said.
Killingbeck said: "I have to thank the novelist Jeff VanderMeer for bringing Adele’s book to my attention – he read it while researching his next novel and sang its praises on Twitter. I bought a copy and as soon as I realised it was self-published I saw the opportunity to bring Adele’s charming portrait of the foxes she knows and loves to a wider readership. This is a beautifully written, heartfelt book with an urgent ecological message, and I’ve been greatly enjoying working with Adele to ensure our edition makes the perfect Christmas present for the nature lover in your life."
Brand, who has led research in five countries, said: "I'm delighted to see my experiences with foxes in print. For the last 25 years, these beguiling, complex and surprising creatures have given me countless stories. To share those observations and to explore the wider world of the fox and its relationship with people is a tremendous privilege, and I hope that this book encourages interest in the wild lives that so subtly overlap our own."