TV presenter, historian and author Lucy Worsley has signed a deal for two further children’s books ahead of the release of her second title, My Name is Victoria, in March.
Worsley told The Bookseller she writes for children because it is “so much fun”. “I do an event at festivals about my first book, Eliza Rose, in which I get a child out of the audience and dress them up as a Tudor queen. I have loved it. I also have a bigger motivation, which is to hopefully get girls into the topic of history.”
My Name is Victoria is about Queen Victoria’s life as a teenager in Kensington Palace, and Worsley is currently “playing with ideas” for books three and four. “I’m drawn to females from the past,” she said. “I’ve got in mind some royal stories but that doesn’t mean the books will definitely be about royal women. I love the idea of rediscovering many different figures from the past for a new generation.
“I have a commute of an hour, so I usually write then,” she added, “and I take inspiration from the places where I work.”
The third and fourth books will be released in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Zoe Griffiths, senior commissioning editor at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, acquired the UK and Commonwealth rights from Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Associates.
Worsley is also planning a new event around the themes and topics in My Name is Victoria, which she will take to literary festivals and, she hopes, to Kensington Palace, where her titular character grew up. The novel offers readers a glimpse “behind closed doors at Kensington Palace as a young Victoria grows closer to becoming queen”.
Worsley is chief curator at Historic Royal Palaces, the independent charity that runs the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and other heritage sites that attract more than four million visitors a year. She also presents history programmes for the BBC on topics including royal palaces and the court, among them “Britain’s Tudor Treasure” (alongside David Starkey). Her latest series, “Six Wives with Lucy”, begins on BBC1 next Friday (9th December).