While talking about a recent generation of the historians there are quite a few people who are renowned for their highly acclaimed works in the field. Kate Williams is such a name that comes in the list of most prominent and top females known for being historians. With her pacy writing style and scholarly depth, Williams has written a number of history books, novels and biographies. Her bestselling books are biographies of some of the most influential women in history. Apart from several fiction and nonfiction books, she writes features and comments for various newspapers and magazines and reviews history books, as well. She also works as a presenter and expert on radio and television, discussing historical matters. Williams also appears in documentaries and gives lectures on various events.

Education and Career

Born on November 30, 1974 and brought up in a Staffordshire village, Kate Williams is a British author, novelist, historian and television presenter. She did her BA and DPhil from Somerville College, Oxford. She did her MA in 18th-century writing and society at Queen Mary University of London, and earned a master's degree in creative writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. Williams is currently professor of Public Engagement with History at the University of Reading in England. During her graduation in Oxford, she received the Violet Vaughan Morgan University Scholarship. She researched Emma Hamilton during her doctorate study.


Williams is known for her books 'England's Mistress', 'Becoming Queen', 'Josephine: Desire, Ambition, Napoleon', 'Young Elizabeth: The Making of Our Queen', The Ring and the Crown: A History of Royal Weddings 1066–2011.

Her first book, ‘England's Mistress: the Infamous Life of Emma Hamilton’, is a biography of Emma Hamilton which was published by Random House in the UK and US in 2006. It was a ‘Book of the Year’ in the Times and the Independent, ‘Book of the Week’ on Radio 4, and was shortlisted for the Marsh Prize for Biography.

Her second book, ‘Becoming Queen’, is about the passionate youth of Queen Victoria and her cousin, Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales, and it was published in September 2008. This book was was serialised in The Sunday Telegraph Stella Magazine, and was titled as ‘Book of the Year’ in The Tatler and The Spectator. Williams discussed the book on Woman’s Hour, and the Simon Mayo programme on Radio 5.

Her third book, ‘Young Elizabeth: the Making of our Queen’ was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in May 2012. The book’s audio version is read by the historian herself.

Her fourth book, ‘Josephine: Desire, Ambition, Napoleon (UK) and 'Ambition and Desire: the Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte' (US), is about the life of Joséphine de Beauharnais, and it was published in 2013 in United States, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Brazil.

Williams authored ‘The Ring and the Crown: A History of Royal Weddings 1066–2011’ along with Alison Weir, Tracy Borman and Sarah Gristwood. The book brings royal weddings to life in words and pictures, from 1066 to the present day. Published by Random House, the book was serialised in the Daily Telegraph.

Williams’ biography of Josephine Bonaparte is being made into a major TV series by Ecosse and her biography of Emma Hamilton is being made into a film by Picture Palace. Malcolm Craddock is said to produce and direct the film, the script has been written by Sarah Williams and Williams is the historical consultant on the film. England's Mistress is also being made into the stage musical, in which script and songs are by Alison Clarkson, Cliff Jones, Joe Stretch and Kate Williams.

Likewise, Williams wrote numerous academic essays and articles that were published in various journals and magazines, including the Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, The Spectator, Time Out, BBC History Magazine and History Today. She also reviews history books for many British newspapers. Her article on history can be seen in a newspapers The Daily Telegraph and her fiction work can be read in the Financial Times. Some of her published academic essays are as follows:

  • "The Force of Language and the Sweets of Love: Eliza Haywood and the Erotics of Reading in Samuel Richardson's Clarissa" in the journal Lumen.
  • "Nelson and Women" in David Cannadine (ed.), Admiral Lord Nelson: Context & Legacy.
  • "Reading Tristram Shandy in the Brothel" in The Shandean, 16.
  • "Passion in Translation: 1720s Amatory Writers and the Novel" in Remapping the Rise of the Novel, ed. Jenny Mander.
  • "The Rise of the Novel" in The History of British Women's Writing 1690–1750, ed. Ros Ballaster.

Williams is also a prominent novelist. While living in Paris, she wrote her first novel, titled ‘The Pleasures of Men’, a dark, mysterious thriller with a series of brutal murders. The book is about a young orphan girl Catherine Sorgeiul who is tormented by a secret from her past and becomes obsessed with a lurid killer of young women, nicknamed The Man of Crows. The novel was published by Penguin Books in the UK and Disney Hyperion in the US and in Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and Brazil, in 2012.

‘The Storms of War’, the second novel from Kate Williams, was based on the de Witt family, a wealthy British family with German roots, that meets with discrimination and hardship during the First World War. The half-English, half-German family members include the patriarch Rudolf, his wife Verena, and his children Arthur, Michael, Emmeline and Celia. Once loved by their neighbours, the Witts were shunned by society and treated as spies and enemies as a result of war which destroys the life of each of the family member irreparably. The epic novel, touted as the first of a planned trilogy, was published in July 2014 under Orion Books publication. The novel won acclaim in several reviews. Williams came out with a sequel to ‘The Storms Of War’, titled ‘The Edge of the Fall’, in November 2015 which was published again by Orion. This book is told from Rudolf’s daughter Celia’s the point of view, and there’s a secret that threatens to destroy the Witt family completely.

Radio Television

Kate Williams is also a popular radio and TV presenter and expert, appearing at least three times a week on TV shows like BBC 2’s Timewatch, Young Victoria and Restoration Home where she talks about society, constitution, literature, culture, and history. Her Timewatch special on ‘Young Victoria’, based on Becoming Queen, was broadcasted by BBC on 18 October 2008 and 19 April 2009. The show had received over 2.2 million views and was acclaimed as 'telly history at its best' by The Guardian, as 'excellent' by The Times, and as 'superb' by Radio Times. A specialist in modern history and constitutional affairs,Williams appears frequently on BBC television shows like Breakfast, The Review Show, Newsnight, Sky News, ITV News, BBC News 24, the Today programme, Broadcasting House, Night Waves, Woman's Hour, Channel 5 News, Good Morning Britain, and on numerous American channels, where she discusses history and culture and provides expert commentary for events and reviews for the news. She covered the Queen's loyal address to Parliament on BBC One in 2012, as well as the Queen's Speech for BBC Parliament and the Olympic Opening Ceremony for BBC World News. Williams served as the social historian on the BBC Two’s RTS nominated series ‘Restoration Home’, which aired from 2011 to 2013. In 2015 she participated in Griff Rees Jones' history quiz, The Quizeum. She is often seen on documentaries, including Faulks on Fiction and The Great British Bake Off (all three series). She also appeared on documentaries on Queen Victoria, Balmoral, Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper, Nelson's Trafalgar, Elizabeth II and Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home. On 13 December 2016 took part in Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, paired with expert Catherine Southon. The pair road trip from Bletchley in Buckinghamshire to an auction in London, where they won with their collection of vintage items.

She appears often on radio, magazines and current affairs programmes, including Today, Woman's Hour, PM, World at One and World Tonight that broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the United Kingdom and also on Radio 2 shows like Chris Evans breakfast show and the Jeremy Vine show where she appears as an expert historian and reviews news headlines, and along with the show host presents views and interviews with live guests. She appeared as a guest expert in Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb's BBC4 'Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home' in 2013), and on Restoration Home and The Royal Wedding in 2011.

Williams often faces inevitable comments about her appearance on television, to which she once responded as: "I wonder if there'll ever be a time where you're not judged by your appearance. It seems that wherever you've got to, your appearance is always discussed. It's never said about men. We talk about a man's charisma, not his looks."

Away from the television, radio and fiction shelves, Williams is frequently invited to give lectures to societies, public groups and on events in England and Europe. She is also an experts after dinner speaker. She also speaks at literary festivals, including Britain's one of the leading festivals ‘Telegraph Hay Festival’ which brings writers and readers together in conversations, the Times Cheltenham Festival, Dartington Ways with Words and the Sunday Times Oxford Festival. She is one among popular English historians, namely Amanda Foreman, Helen Castor, Marina Warner, Sarah Gristwood, Alison Weir, Lisa Hilton, Bettany Hughes and Antonia Fraser, who are progressively working to restore women to historic culture and public knowledge. In her opinion: "It's the 21st century. It's untenable to suggest that women had no significance and no interest and that just because they didn't vote they had no relevance to the course of our history. Even if women had no power in a society – which isn't the case and never has been – the fact that we were alive is significant in itself. I think women have to be put back into culture at all levels."

Her great contribution as historian and presenter earned her an award by Celebrity Mastermind in January 2016. In several newspapers and radio programmes, Williams won numerous accolades and her work is lauded by numerous newspapers and influential personalities, such as 'One of Britain's best young historians' by Independent; 'Historian Extraordinaire', by The Today Programme, Radio 4; 'Queen of historical fiction' and 'History at its best', by Guardian’ Daily Mail called her Fall of the Edge novel, 'Brilliant', and 'Gripping from the first page', 'Thrilling' 'a must read', by Grazia. As of her love for fiction, bold personality Williams says: “The joy of fiction is that you can speculate as much as you like and create characters. I keep invention out of my history books, and I keep fact dumps out of my novels.”

Personal Life

While moving to her personal life, Williams is the daughter of a lawyer and a teacher and born and brought up in a Staffordshire village. As a child, she was so obsessed with time travel that she made a time machine using a huge cardboard box in which their washing machine had been delivered. She covered the box in silver foil and told her little brother, Geoff, to sit inside the time machine. She then shook the box around and told her younger brother, ‘We’ve landed in the Pyramids!’ or ‘We’re now in Victorian England!’ Williams mostly chooses to remain silent about her personal life. She hardly speaks about her marital status, relationship, and affairs in media. She lives, along with her partner Marcus Gipp and their four-year-old daughter, Persephone, in the North London borough of Islington. The forty plus historian is currently enjoying her name, fame and gigantic earning. She is being called the most successful English historian. The 5’6” tall blonde and faired skin historian has maintained a good body and perfect figure. Williams is the Director of Life Writing and Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, and active on social networking sites such as facebook and twitter. Acclaimed as one of the most famous woman historians of England, Kate Williams is never extinguishing figure in the history of the United Kingdom.


While talking about a recent generation of the historians there are quite a few people who are renowned for their highly acclaimed works in the field. Kate Williams is such a name that comes in the list of most prominent and top females known for being historians.



Williams is known for her books 'England's Mistress', 'Becoming Queen', 'Josephine: Desire, Ambition, Napoleon','Young Elizabeth: The Making of Our Queen', The Ring and the Crown: A History of Royal Weddings 1066–2011.