Having lived her very own royal romance—marrying Prince Andrew in 1986—Sarah Ferguson has used her “personal journeys” to pen her first-ever historical romance novel.
The Duchess of York announced she’s written her first novel of historical fiction inspired by the life of her great-great-aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott, weaving in her own experiences to the story, set in the Victorian-era. Her Heart For a Compass, written with Marguerite Kaye, will be published jointly by HarperCollins Publishers and Harlequin U.K. this August.
“The book is about daring to follow your heart against the odds,” Ferguson announced via Twitter, wearing a period costume and carrying an old-timey compass. “The book refers to journeys Lady Margaret makes to Ireland and America, which in fact reflects my own personal journeys.”
This is not the royal’s first foray into writing, having penned several children’s books and works of non-fiction, including her memoirs. After writing two works of non-fiction about Queen Victoria, Ferguson became a key player behind the creation of The Young Victoria, the award-winning 2009 film starring Emily Blunt.
“I wanted to write a novel for years and years and was searching for the right story,” she told People. “I was looking into my family history and I was struck by the fact that we shared a name: Margaret is my middle name. Since very little more information was easily found about her, it seemed she would be an ideal vehicle for me to weave my story around.”
According to People, the book not only draws from the Duchess’ life but from research into her ancestry too.
“Her Heart For a Compass is an immersive historical saga that sweeps the reader from the drawing rooms of Victoria’s court and the grand country houses of Scotland and Ireland, to the slums of London and the mercantile bustle of 1870s New York,” the book description reads.
“Rich in historical detail and grounded in extensive research, the novel offers a compelling look at Victorian England in the wake of Prince Albert’s death,” it continues, “and the fascinating journey of a woman born into the higher echelons of society, who desires to break the mold, follow her internal compass (her heart) and discover her raison d’être, falling in love along the way.”
Her Heart for a Compass, written with Marguerite Kaye, will be published on August 3, 2021, and is available for preorder here.