Weidenfeld & Nicolson is publishing a narrative history of Tudor ladies-in-waiting, the "oft-overlooked yet hugely influential figures of the Tudor court", by Dr Nicola Clark
Editorial director Maddy Price acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in The Waiting Game from Adam Gauntlett of Peters Fraser + Dunlop.
In her revisionist history of Henry VIII’s court, historian Dr Clark aims to show that such women were "serious political players who changed the course of history".
"Ever present and yet hidden behind the scenes, these women held the secrets and the hearts of some of the Tudor period’s most powerful men and women," reads the book's synopsis. "As Henry changed wives, and changed the country's religion besides, these women had to make choices about loyalty that simply didn't exist before and would never exist in this way again. By the end of Henry’s reign, being a lady-in-waiting was far more dangerous than it had been at the beginning. After all, four of his queens had been ladies-in-waiting themselves."
Dr Clark is a senior lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Chichester, whose first book, Gender, Family, and Politics: The Howard Women, 1485–1558, was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. She said: "This is the book I have always wanted to write. While we know a lot about Henry's wives, we know far less about the ladies-in-waiting surrounding them — and yet these women led lives as tumultuous and politically charged as those of the queens they served. Women serving at court had a unique experience, and I can't wait to bring their stories to life."
Price said: "Tudor history has long been one of my favourite subjects to read about and to publish, and I was so excited to read Nicola’s totally fresh and feminist approach. Nicola combines expertise and detailed research with fantastic storytelling skills, and this is women’s history with the drama and pace of the best historical fiction. It will appeal to fans of Helen Castor’s She-Wolves, Antonia Fraser’s Six Wives of Henry VIII or indeed fans of 'Six the Musical'."
It will publish with W&N in early 2023 in hardback, trade paperback, e-book and audio.