About Kate Williams


Kate studied her BA at Somerville College, Oxford where she was a College Scholar and received the Violet Vaughan
Morgan University Scholarship. She then took her MA at Queen Mary, University of London and her DPhil at Oxford, where she received a graduate prize. She also took an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway.

Her fourth history book, Josephine Bonaparte: Desire, Ambition, Napoleon was published by Hutchinson to much acclaim in late 2013. It will be published in the United States, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Brazil and Portugal.

Her second novel, Storms of War, following the de Witt family during the First World War, will be published by Orion Books in July 2014.

Her third history book, Young Elizabeth: the Making of our Queen was published in 2012 to enthusiastic reviews.


Kate has written books on Emma Hamilton and Queen Victoria, and her historical novel, The Pleasures of Men, about Catherine Sorgeiul, a young woman in 1840 who terrifies herself with her obsession with a murderer, was published. She began writing the book while living in Paris, one summer - as she found herself wandering the streets alone at night, Catherine and the Man of Crows came into her mind...


Her second book, Becoming Queen, about the passionate youth of Queen Victoria and Princess Charlotte, England's lost queen, was published in September 2008. It was serialised in The Sunday Telegraph Stella Magazine, and was Book of the Year in The Tatler and The Spectator. Kate discussed it on Woman’s Hour, The Guestlist on Classic FM and the Simon Mayo programme on Radio 5. 


'Becoming Queen showcases an outstanding talent'
MATTHEW D'ANCONA - THE SPECTATOR, BOOKS OF THE YEAR

'Kate Williams has excelled herself. She has perfected the art of historical biography...her pacy writing is underpinned by the most impeccable scholarship.' 
ALISON WEIR


Kate's BBC 2 Timewatch special on ‘Young Victoria’, based on Becoming Queen, was shown on Saturday 18 October 2008 and 19 April 2009. Acclaimed by The Guardian as 'telly history at its best', The Times as 'excellent', and by Radio Times as 'superb', it received over 2.2 milllion viewers and has been shown around the world.

She appears regularly on radio and television, most recently as a panellist on Newsnight Review and discussing history on Newsnight, the Today Programme, BBC Breakfast, Channel 4 News, Woman's Hour and More4 News. Her Radio 4 documentary, 'Samuel Smiles: Grandfather of Self-Help', exploring the legacy of Self Help, 150 years after its publication, was broadcast on 2 July 2009.

Her first book, England's Mistress: the Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton was published in 2006, after five years of research in archives across the world. It was Book of the Week on Radio 4, a Book of the Year in the Times and theIndependent and shortlisted for the Marsh Prize for Biography. 


'A wonderful, sparkling biography'
AMANDA FOREMAN


England's Mistress is being developed for film by Picture Palace. The producer and director is Malcolm Craddock and the script has been written by Sarah Williams, writer of Becoming Jane. Kate is the historical consultant on the film.

The stage musical of England's Mistress is also in development, with script and songs by Alison Clarkson, Cliff Jones, Joe Stretch and Kate Williams.

Kate is the Director of Life Writing and Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Kate writes features and comment pieces for various newspapers and magazines, including The Sunday Telegraph, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Spectator, Time Out, BBC History Magazine and History Today. She reviews history books for History Today and BBC History Magazine, and fiction for The Financial Times and Mslexia.

She is the social historian on BBC2's Restoration Home, the royal and historical expert for CNN and she appears at least three times a week on TV or radio discussing historical matters - particularly on BBC One and Two, Sky, ITV, CNN and Radio 4, from subjects as wide as the sugar tax on the Great British Bake Off to constitutional change on Newsnight and the Today programme. She presented her own programme on the youth of Queen Victoria, which is regularly repeated on television, most recently in 2013. She has covered all the major royal events for all the channels.

She has discussed her books on BBC Breakfast, CNN and Sky News on Mariella Frostrup's Sky Arts show and on the Simon Mayo Book Show on Radio 2, Radio 4's Open Book, Woman's Hour, the Today Programme and BBC News.

Kate gives lectures to societies, events and dinners regularly in England and Europe, and literary festivals, including the Telegraph Hay Festival, the Times Cheltenham Festival, the Sunday Times Oxford Festival and Dartington Ways with Words.