Janet Ellis Acquisition Announcement


13 Apr 2015

Lisa Highton of Two Roads, an imprint of John Murray Press, has acquired two novels from Janet Ellis: actress, broadcaster and ex-Blue Peter presenter. Ellis has been a judge of the Costa First Novel Award and is a recent graduate of the Curtis Brown Creative Writing School, whose other alumni include Kate Hamer and Jessie Burton. Submitted under a pseudonym, Highton bought UK rights from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown.

The first novel, A LITTLE LEARNING; OR, THE BUTCHER’S HOOK, is set in late eighteenth century London, where Anne Jaccob is coming of age.  When she is taken advantage of by her tutor – and her father’s great friend – her powerlessness in the world is brought home to her, and it joins several other formative experiences in her short life so far that will serve to dictate her future actions. Her saviour appears in the form of Fub, the butcher’s boy. But will what she learns in his company actually be her salvation, or her damnation?  A sweeping tale but always an intimate one, the novel is filled with the panoramas and filthy streets of the city, the colour and bear-baiting of St Bartholomew’s Fair, the excitement and envy of love and obsession, and the visceral rites of passage of passion and death.  Publication is scheduled for Spring 2016.

Lisa Highton said:
‘We were hooked by the power of this incredibly vivid story from the outset. It’s by turns slyly witty and quite shocking, with an unforgettable heroine.  I was surprised and delighted to find out the identity of the author, and we’re all excited to help launch the start of a great career.’

Janest Ellis said: 'I'm thrilled to be published by Two Roads and to become part of their writers' group. Writing and then finding a home for a first novel is a nerve-racking process but Lisa HIghton at Two Roads and my agent Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown have given me such fantastic support I couldn't be in better hands.'

Translation rights are being handled by Melissa Pimentel at Curtis Brown melissa@curtisbrown.co.uk and US by Lisa Bankoff at ICM Partners in New York.

For all publicity enquiries please contact Rosie Gailer
rosie.gailer@hodder.co.uk / 020 3122 6408 / 07766 763949