FORMER Taunton MP David Nicholson is in good literary company following the publication of his latest book.

Mr Nicholson couldn't resist letting an American publisher who turned down his Crisis of the British Empire tome in 2012 know that another company had printed it.

That puts him in the same league as successful writers such as J. K. Rowling, C. S. Lewis and Agatha Christie, who all struggled to get someone to take them on.

After seeing his book sell well at Taunton's Brendon Books after being published by Wellington-based Halsgrove, Mr Nicholson couldn't resist firing off an e-mail to Yale University Press.

In it he informed them of his success five years after they told him the book was "really intriguing...but not really quite for us".

Yale's Heather McCallum, who was behind that rejection, rather graciously ate her words and replied: "That is great. Many congratulations. I'm delighted.

"I hope it flies off the shelves."

Somerset County Gazette:

In the book, Mr Nicholson investigates whether the decline of the British empire after its peak in 1880 was inevitable or could have been avoided.