Johnson & Alcock acquires Fox Mason

Johnson & Alcock has acquired the Fox Mason agency.

Ben Mason established Fox Mason in 2010, after eight years spent working at various London agencies.  His diverse list includes prize-winning authors of literary fiction as well as bestselling commercial fiction and non-fiction.

Anna Power at Johnson & Alcock said: “We’ve long admired Ben’s literary taste, and the vision and energy with which he’s built his thriving agency.  We’re delighted to be expanding Johnson & Alcock, as well as continuing with representation of so many of the brilliant Fox Mason authors.”

Ben Mason added: “I'm honoured to have worked with fine writers and great people. But now it's time for a new chapter in my career and I couldn't be leaving my clients in more capable - more professional hands. I know J&A will do an awesome job and I look forward to watching from the other side of the Atlantic as my clients thrive.”

Becky Thomas will join Johnson & Alcock as an Associate Agent bringing her full list of clients which include Kate Tempest, Tyler Keevil and Suzanne Moore.

The true face of Shakespeare revealed

Botanist and historian Mark Griffiths reveals in this month's Country Life magazine how he cracked a many-layered Tudor code and revealed the face of the living Shakespeare for the first time, on the title page of John Gerard’s Herball, 400 years after it was first published.


IN LOVE AND WAR is BBC R4 Book at Bedtime

Alex Preston's novel In Love and War is on Radio 4 in their Book at Bedtime slot, running for two weeks from 25 November, read by Carl Prekopp. 

A tale of love, heroism and resistance set against the stunning backdrop of 1930s Florence, In Love and War weaves fact and fiction to create a thrilling portrait of a man swept up in the chaos of war.  The book is currently available in hardback published by Faber.

Praise for In Love and War:

“Rich in period detail and utterly compelling… brilliant.” Kate Saunders, The Times

“Rich and evocative… powerfully affecting, ambitious in its scope, precise in its attention to detail and infused with a love for Florence and its motley eccentrics – their courage and their suffering.” Stephanie Merritt, The Observer

“An evocative portrait of passion and fascism. There is much to admire in Alex Preston’s third book…  a living, breathing Forsterian idyll, complete with eccentric and glamorous expats, bohemian writers, and passionate love affairs, all played out against the backdrop of scorching heat and iced Negronis. Taken aback by a stunning view from a window, Esmond is told that Florence is a city of such scorci: ‘A view you glimpse, all of a sudden, that leaps inside you.’ Preston’s narrative offers something comparable.” Lucy Scholes, Independent

Publication of PAPER ONLY

The founders of The Papered Parlour have written their first book published by Pavilion and you can check out the trailer for it below. Jam-packed with 20 projects to kick-start your creativity, Paper Onlyis an ode to and celebration of paper.  From block printed wallpaper to handmade flowers, this book encourages you to scatter your sketchbooks with inspiration and take artistic risks.


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Chantal Coady OBE

Congratulations to Chantal Coady, author of Rococo, Mastering the Art of Chocolate (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) who has just been made an OBE for services to chocolate making in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours List. Her involvement with chocolate goes back to 1983 when she opened her first chocolate shop, Rococo Chocolates, in London's Kings Road. Rococo now has 3 shops in London and one in the Northwest at the Chester Grosvenor, and continues to be the pioneering hub of the New British School of Chocolate. Chantal was recently awarded the Grenada Ruby Award for outstanding contribution to the business development of Grenada where Rococo jointly owns a cocoa farm, and the OBE also recognizes Rococo Chocolates' contributions to many charities over the years.

Writer/director confirmed for Solzhenitsyn film

Primeridian Entertainment has hired Cyrus Nowrasteh to write and direct a film on Soviet dissident and Nobel Prize-winning author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, based on D.M. Thomas's Orwell Prize-winning biography Alexander Solzhenitsyn: A Century In His Life.

"It's a privilege to tell the courageous story of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn," said the director. "Millions suffered and died in the Soviet labor camps. As a survivor, he resolved to tell the world about it. The power of his pen, despite the suppression of his work and every effort to silence his voice, helped bring about the downfall of one of the greatest tyrannies mankind has ever known."

Solzhenitsyn was a Red Army officer who, after being accused of anti-Soviet propaganda, was imprisoned by Stalin in the gulag system in February 1945. The period later became the basis for his three-volume The Gulag Archipelago, a chronicle of his ordeal as captive in the Soviet forced labor camp system, unacknowledged during the Stalinist era. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970, was expelled from the former Soviet Union in 1974, and lived in exile in Vermont until he was able to return to Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the mid-1990s. Solzhenitsyn died in 2008.

See the full story here:

Dr Thomas Dixon presents BBC Radio 4 series on friendship

Dr Thomas Dixon will present a new series 'Five Hundred Years of Friendship' on BBC Radio 4.  The series launches on Monday 24th March with Thomas comparing social networks in the 16th century with those of today.  This is the beginning of an absorbing story in which both the similarities and the differences between friendship past and present emerge.

The series will be supported by blog posts on the History of Emotions Blog at Queen Mary, University of London, where Thomas is the Director of the Centre for the History of the Emotions.

C. J. Driver at Nelson Mandela Memorial

Our long-standing author C. J. Driver was proud to be one of the readers at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Westminster Abbey on 3rd March.

The service was attended by HRH Prince Harry, PM David Cameron, South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, and the first UK performance from the Soweto Gospel Choir

Jonty Driver is the former President of the National Union of South African Students, and read a passage from Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, taken from the Robben Island 'Bible'.

He is currently working on a short biography of John Harris, who was the only white man executed in South Africa (though not the only one assassinated) for having put a bomb in the Johannesburg station. Harris's warning to the police to clear the station was either not heeded or was too late, and a bystander was killed and more bystanders severely burned.

Greaves shortlisted for Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2014

The Skull in the Wood, the debut novel by Sandra Greaves has been shortlisted for the prestigious Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2014. The prize was set up to honour the very best new and emergent writers of children’s fiction, and has helped to launch the careers of previous winners and shortlisted authors including John Boyne, Siobhan Dowd and Sally Nicholls.

Greaves’ gothic tale for children aged 9-12 skilfully blends setting and myth to create a startlingly original ghost story. With dogs turning wild in the rolling mists of Dartmoor and a resurrected ancient curse, this book will have young readers quaking under the covers.

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Angry Robot has signed a two-book deal for alternate history books from Rod Duncan. Publishing director Marc Gascoigne did the deal with Ed Wilson of Johnson & Alcock for world English language rights. The series will be called The Fall of the Gaslit Empire, with first title The Bullet Catcher's Daughter released in September 2014, and the sequel,Unseemly Science following in 2015.

The books follow Elizabeth Barnabus, who lives a double life posing as her private detective brother, and the problems she faces when she comes up against the all-powerful patent office.


A star-studded launch for LIVE AT THE BRIXTON ACADEMY was held at the exclusive members' club Apt48, with authors Simon Parkes and JS Rafaeli both signing books.

The exclusive insight into the genesis and first thirty years of London's most iconic music venue, LIVE AT THE BRIXTON ACADEMY is serealised in The Mail on Sunday, and Simon has been interviewed in the Guardian and for Front Row on Radio 4.

N Quentin Woolf picked in GQ Top 10 books of 2014

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N Quentin Woolf's stunning Debut THE DEATH OF THE POET has been chosen by GQ magazine as one of the Top 10 books to read in 2014: see here.

The book "explores what it means to be a man and what one will endure for love in the modern world, from post-WWI England to Nineties America", and will be published on 4th April by Serpent's Tail.