Knight: Yorkshireman, Storyteller, Spy
Biography of best-selling novelist, Eric Knight whose work was praised by the literary establishment of the 1930s, but whose greatest acheivements were overshadowed by his biggest hit - he was the author of 'Lassie Come-Home'.
A child immigrant to the USA, Eric Knight enlisted in Canada and returned to England to face the horrors of WWI, having already escaped once from the deprivation of the Yorkshire mill towns His biography is an epic account that spans some of the key historical moments early in the last century. With a creative mind, and a formidable spirit that sustained him from the trenches of Ypres, and through the Depression, to literary success and acclaim, he did not shy away from defending his native England once more – as confidant to the US President, he supported the efforts to bring the US into WWII which led to his untimely death in the service of the OSS, the forerunner to the US Central Intelligence Agency.
The Ouen Press list is published in English as eBooks and in paperback, and is distributed internationally.
We are seeking to sell:
-Translation rights for Print and electronic version in all non-English languages;
-Large print, Audio & Serialisation rights in all territories and all languages;
In KNIGHT: Yorkshireman, Storyteller, Spy by Greg Christie, the various threads of Eric Knight’s life have been meticulously teased out and woven into an engaging narrative that follows the journey taken by this scrawny lad from Hunslet, to the heart of the pre-WW2 literary, artistic and political world, partly in Britain, more widely in the USA. Over time, Eric reinvented himself as artist, newspaper reporter, film critic and best-selling novelist. His books are lauded by Ernest Hemingway and H L Mencken, and turned into Hollywood movies.
An infantryman in the First World War, he served again in the Second – in espionage, propaganda and intelligence. Among his confidants were O.S.S. chief ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan, UK ambassador Lord Halifax and President Roosevelt. In 1943, on a secret mission to meet Churchill and FDR in North Africa, his plane was blown up, killing all on board. And what is this extraordinary man remembered for? A little pot-boiler he sold for $10,000: Lassie Come-Home.
“A heroic, epic, thrilling story, ... which will enthrall, entertain and inform its readers while re-drawing the map of Anglo-American writing in the mid-twentieth century.”
Alan Wilkinson, author Cody, The Medicine Man & Me
Fascinated to learn that Eric Knight penned the ‘Lassie’ stories he had seen on TV, Greg Christie was determined to write his life story. He set about it methodically, taking a degree in English, followed by an M.A. His researches led him to the Knight archive at Yale, where he spent three months as a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellow, then further west to New Mexico and California, where he met Eric’s grand-daughter Betsy. As he progressed with the book he wrote a number of articles and a BBC Radio documentary based on his findings. By 2014, Greg had lost his sight completely, was reliant on his guide-dog and ready to accept defeat. However, with the collaboration of a friend and fellow writer, and after a break of eight years, he finally managed to complete what amounted to a twenty-year project.