jonathan spencer announcement

Move over, Hornblower! Canelo acquires Napoleonic series by Jonathan Spencer – introducing William John Hazzard

Commissioning Editor Craig Lye has acquired World English Language rights to a debut Napoleonic historical fiction series by Jonathan Spencer from Heather Adams at HMA Literary Agency in a three-book deal, his first major acquisition for Canelo since arriving in January.

The William John Hazzard series will comprise Napoleon’s Run, Lords of the Nile, and a third, as-yet-untitled novel. Set nine years after the French Revolution, the series will follow the story of Hazzard as he leads his small band of handpicked marines to rescue a missing Admiralty agent and thwart Napoleon’s ill-fated invasion of Egypt.

Jonathan Spencer is a British writer, editor, journalist and historian specialising in the late 18th century and the French expedition to Egypt. He has edited a monthly UK history magazine, lectured at universities on the subject of Napoleonic Egypt, and written numerous articles concerning the repatriation of Egyptian artefacts. He writes historical non-fiction under the name Jonathan Downs, his major work a revised account of the British acquisition of the Rosetta Stone, Discovery at Rosetta, (London & NY 2008; Cairo 2020). He currently lives in the Western Cape, in South Africa.

Craig Lye says: ‘This is the Napoleonic series an editor dreams of finding. A grippingly plotted story married to a lightly worn reservoir of historical knowledge, delivered in cinematic prose. But Jonathan’s characters are his real triumph: he captures the camaraderie of the men with such skill and verve that, by the end of the book, I’d have marched anywhere with them.’

Jonathan Spencer says: ‘The story of Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt is truly epic in scale, stretching from England and France through the Mediterranean, to Egypt and Syria. To bring it all to life has taken nearly eight years and an entire series of novels to complete the tale. I’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic support I’ve had from Craig Lye at Canelo – his input has been absolutely invaluable.’

Napoleon’s Run will be published in September 2020 in ebook, with Lords of the Nile following in November 2020, and Hazzard 3 to follow in Spring 2021. For more information please contact