Allison & Busby announce acquisition of Julian Stockwin's THE CRAKYS OF WAR

Allison & Busby are pleased to announce the acquisition of a new historical novel from Julian Stockwin, THE CRAKYS OF WAR.

This is the second in a sequence of stand‐alone novels that will dramatise pivotal historical discoveries. THE SILK TREE, Julian Stockwin’s first stand‐alone novel, was published by Allison & Busby in November 2014. Publishing Director Susie Dunlop bought UK + Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to this much‐anticipated follow‐up from Carole Blake at Blake Friedmann.

THE CRAKYS OF WAR opens with a returned envoy to China meeting an English scholar in Oxford in the mid 13th century to share a deadly secret. They vow that the knowledge of gunpowder must die with them as the consequences otherwise are too terrible to contemplate.  The novel tells the story of its re‐discovery, one man's obsession with the powder of death, and Edward III’s determination to use it to his advantage.  He does so at the Battle of Crecy, the first full-scale battle at which guns are deployed in the field.  The nature of warfare is changed forever, and the world hears the death-knell of Knightly chivalry.

Susie Dunlop said: ‘We have been honoured to work with an author of Julian’s calibre and professionalism, and I am thrilled we will have a second novel in 2016.  Working closely with Julian, his wife Kathy and agent Carole Blake, we look forward to building on our success with THE SILK TREE, and bringing this new book to Julian’s legions of fans’

Julian Stockwin said: ‘It is a pleasure to be working with the talented team at Allison & Busby again – on this exciting new perspective on the brutal mediaeval world of war from which emerged the modern age.’

Carole Blake said: ‘I was delighted with the commitment that Allison & Busby brought to their publishing of THE SILK TREE (and to the production values of the beautiful finished book) so am very happy to have another deal with them.’


For further information please contact Susie Dunlop:

For rights information please contact Carole Blake:

Allison & Busby to republish six Beryl Matthews titles

Photo Copyright: Roderick Fields

Photo Copyright: Roderick Fields

Six of Beryl Matthews' romantic sagas are to be republished by Allison & Busby. World English rights to DIAMONDS IN THE DUST, HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS, ON A FLIGHT OF GOLDEN WINGS, UNCERTAIN YEARS, BATTLES LOST AND WON  and THE FORGOTTEN FAMILY were sold by Carole Blake to Susie Dunlop for paperback and eBook publication in 2015. All six books were originally published by Severn House.

The books will be published in the Spring and Autumn of 2015, starting with DIAMONDS IN THE DUST, HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS and ON A FLIGHT OF GOLDEN WINGS. Matthews’ sagas, set in late 19th and early 20th Century London, explore classic themes such as love, romance and death against backdrops of war and social change.

Audio rights to DIAMONDS IN THE DUST, ON A FLIGHT OF GOLDEN WINGS and THE FORGOTTEN FAMILY have also recently been relicensed to Isis.

Beryl Matthews says: I am delighted that Allison & Busby are going to republish six of my books.  It will be wonderful to see them in print again, and I hope new readers will enjoy them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Susie Dunlop says: “This just goes to show the classic publisher/agent lunch is as useful as ever!  I was thrilled to discover during my chat with Carole that Beryl’s backlist might be available and we warmly welcome this excellent storyteller to our women’s fiction list”

Carole Blake says: “It was a fortuitous conversation between Susie and me when we were on a long train journey to Exeter to meet Julian Stockwin (Allison & Busby have just published his novel THE SILK TREE) that led to us talking about sagas and A+B’s success with them.  I’m delighted that Beryl’s timeless backlist will be republished.”

Praise for Beryl Matthews:

‘Heart-warming and uplifting’ – Sunday Express

‘Catherine Cookson fans will love this’ – Women’s Own

‘Matthews’ … has all the hallmarks of the perfect family saga: birth, death, sorrow, happiness, love, luck, and laughter’ – Booklist (USA


For more information please contact:

Susie Dunlop, Publishing Director, Allison & Busby


Carole Blake, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency


For rights inquiries please contact:

Louise Brice, Head of Rights, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency