October 1-15, 2005 Edition

HarperCollins Signs

Deal With Top

Historical Novelist

NEW YORK, NY/9/23/05—HarperCollins Publishers today announced that it has acquired world-English language rights to publish the next three books in bestselling author Bernard Cornwell's recently launched King Alfred series. The book, audio and e-book formats will be published in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India. In addition, the publisher, in an innovative venture, is investing in Sharpe's Challenge, an exciting new TV mini-series starring Sean Bean.

Cornwell's 40 novels have sold more than nine million copies over the last 20 years. He landed on The New York Times bestseller list with The Last Kingdom, the first book in the series, set in England during the reign of King Alfred. The Pale Horseman, the second book in the King Alfred series, will be published in the U.S. in January, 2006. In the UK, Cornwell has had more than 20 #1 bestsellers and more than 50 Top Ten bestselling novels.

The global deal was negotiated by Brian Murray, Group President of HarperCollins Publishers, and Amanda Ridout, MD of the General Books division at HarperCollins UK, with Cornwell's agent Toby Eady of Toby Eady Associates.

In the U.S., cable channel BBC America is planning to air the Sharpe's Challenge mini-series in 2006, as part of a high-profile season of all fourteen Sharpe films. With an anticipated audience of many million viewers, the new Sharpe TV mini-series will air in the UK, in Autumn 2006.

Jane Friedman, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers worldwide, says: "When you have an author of the caliber of Bernard Cornwell, one of the world's top historical novelist, it's very gratifying to publish him on a global basis giving him the prominence he deserves. We expect this important deal, in conjunction with the new TV mini-series, will bring him even greater success around the world."

Victoria Barnsley, CEO and Publisher of HarperCollins UK says: "Bernard is at the peak of his power as a writer at the moment. The new King Alfred series is among his best-ever work. The Sharpe TV films in the UK have consistently broadened his readership and we are confident that this new mini-series will expand it even further, both here and in the States. Supporting the Sharpe film production is a fabulous opportunity for HarperCollins and one which we are delighted to have."

HarperCollins is one of the leading English-language publishers in the world and is a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NWS, NWSLV). Headquartered in New York, the company has publishing groups in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australasia. Its publishing groups include the HarperCollins General Books Group, HarperCollins Children's Books Group, Zondervan, HarperCollins UK, HarperCollins Canada, HarperCollins Australia/New Zealand and HarperCollins India. You can visit HarperCollins Publishers on the Internet at