LONDON — Scott Free London, the U.K. arm of Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Prods., has acquired the film rights to Anne de Courcy’s novel “The Fishing Fleet.”

The book, subtitled “Husband-Hunting in the Raj,” tells the story of young women in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who travelled to India in search of husbands after many British men had left for India to find work as administrators, soldiers and businessman during the years of British rule. It is based on real-life unpublished memoirs, letters and diaries, collected by De Courcy.

The novel will be developed as a film by producer Liza Marshall, who heads up Scott Free London. De Courcy will serve as a consultant.