Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired John Higgs’ exploration of the “unexpected connections” between The Beatles and the Bond films and what they tell us about British culture.
The publisher explained: “The Beatles are the biggest band there has ever been. James Bond is the single most successful movie character of all time. They are also twins. ‘Dr No’, the first Bond film, and ‘Love Me Do’, the first Beatles record, were both released on the same day: Friday 5th October 1962. Most countries can only dream of a cultural export becoming a worldwide phenomenon on this scale. For Britain to produce two on the same windy October afternoon is unprecedented.”
Love and Let Die will tell the story about these two opposite aspects of the British psyche exploding into global culture. It is billed as a “clash between working-class liberation and establishment control”, told over a period of 60 years. It is also an account of our aspirations and fantasies, and of competing visions of male identity.
Jenny Lord, publisher, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Sarah Ballard at United Agents. She commented: “A singular work by one of our most visionary non-fiction writers, Love and Let Die is not just a mind-expanding exploration of two of Britain’s biggest culture exports but a fascinating look at how they have informed who we are.”
Higgs, author of William Blake vs the World (W&N), said: “We’re so familiar with the Beatles and the James Bond movies that we often fail to notice just how strange, implausible and oddly connected they are. They offer us contrasting visions of what makes a good life but then, as William Blake explained, ‘without contraries is no progression’. This is a story about how the creative imagination can shape our attitudes—and how our attitudes then shape society—told via the medium of tape loops and car chases.”
Love and Let Die will be published in hardback, audio and e-book in September 2022, in time for the joint 60th anniversary of the aforementioned Beatles record and Bond film.