Roman murder at Oneworld

Rights - NonFiction Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Oneworld has signed 'rising star of ancient history' Emma Southon’s new book, A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Murder in Ancient Rome


Editorial director Sam Carter acquired UK & Commonwealth rights (ex Canada) from Charlie Viney at The Viney Shaw Agency, with the book scheduled for publication in September 2020.

According to the acquisition statement: 'In Ancient Rome all the best stories have one thing in common – murder. Remus killed to found the city; Caesar assassinated to save the Republic. Caligula butchered in the theatre, Claudius poisoned at dinner and Galba beheaded in the forum. Cutting into their unique culture of crime and punishment, Southon dissects how ordinary Romans viewed life, death, and what it means to be human.'

Southon said: "The idea for the book came from a conversation with a history teacher friend about true crime as a lens to explore a culture, and I realised that murder in the Roman world was not only a trove of fantastic, human stories with lots of gore but also a way to think about so much more.

"Struggling to find a good title, I turned to fiction-writing friends for help. A Fatal Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum was the genius brainchild of Sarah Perry, and simply too good to turn down.

"I couldn't be more thrilled to be working with Sam and Oneworld. I know from my time as a bookseller what fantastic and unique work they do and it feels like a natural home for AFTHOTWTTF."

Carter said: "Emma is that ideal author who combines deep knowledge of her subject with dazzling style. We’re thrilled to be publishing her on our history list."

Southon is the author of Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore, a Best Book of the Year for the New Statesman, and co-host of the History is Sexy podcast.

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