Hodder & Stoughton has commissioned Lucy Worsley to write a "major" new biography of Queen Victoria to celebrate the 200th anniversary of her birth.
In Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow, Worsley will examine the different roles Queen Victoria played throughout her reign. Specifically, she will take a detailed look at 24 significant days from Victoria’s life, examining how she lived "from hour to hour" and exploring her transformation "from dancing princess to the Widow of Windsor", as one of "Britain's greatest monarchs".
Commissioning editor Maddy Price, who acquired world rights from agent Felicity Bryan, said the book would offer a "very personal portrait" of Queen Victoria.
"Lucy’s last book Jane Austen at Home captured reader’s imaginations by shining a new light into Austen’s homes, and therefore her mind. Lucy does the same here for Queen Victoria, painting a very personal portrait that makes you see her in a whole new light, as a woman full of contradictions, but a woman who used those contradictions to full advantage in a very unique way," said Price.
Worsley, who is an historian, author, curator and television presenter, who became chief curator at the Kensington Palace-based charity Historic Royal Palace, said her research had revealed Queen Victoria to be a woman of contractions.
"Queen Victoria could be a monster – she could be inconsistent, dictatorial and selfish. But there’s a sense of fun about her too, an eccentricity, and a certainness of purpose that’s very easy to admire," said Worsley. "As a woman on the throne, she was put into almost an impossible position by her society and her job, and yet she succeeded triumphantly. I have loved delving into the detail of her life and can’t wait to share it with readers."
Queen Victoria by Lucy Worsley will be published in hardback, trade paperback and e-book in September 2018.