Sarah Ferguson is in talks with streaming platforms to turn her debut novel into a ‘Bridgerton’-inspired historical drama series, a source said.
The Duchess of York, 61, whose new Mills & Boon novel ‘Her heart for a compass‘ will appear on August 3, is a fictionalized account of the life of the Duchess’ enchanted aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott.
‘[Her team] is already in talks with at least one streaming service and will approach others once a 360-degree treatment of the book is completed,” a source said in an interview with Variety.
This includes Amazon and Netflix. Everyone involved sees Bridgerton’s success as a demonstration of the enormous appeal of period drama to streaming services.”
Sarah Ferguson is in talks with streaming platforms to turn her debut novel “Her Heart for a Compass” into a Bridgerton-inspired historical drama series, a source said. Pictured, attending the British Heart Foundation’s ‘The Beating Hearts Ball’ at The Guildhall on February 20, 2018 in London
Her Heart for a Compass (pictured) is a fictionalized account of the life of the Duchess’ enchanted aunt, Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott
The Duchess, who previously produced ‘The Young Victoria’ written by Julian Fellowes and starring Emily Blunt, said: ‘I’m really hopeful that ‘Her Heart for a Compass’ will come to life on screen: I see it like a TV series rather than a movie.’
‘It is still at a very early stage, but we are already in talks with a number of program makers about the potential to turn it into a historical drama.’
Sarah, the mother of Princess Beatrice, 32, and Princess Eugenie, 31, recently shared: People magazine that she battled an “extraordinary fear of getting it wrong” before accepting that trying to be perfect “is no longer necessary.”
The new grandmother of Eugenie’s 5-month-old son, August, said that since she turned 61 last October, she’s “gone her own way” and really became Sarah.
“I’ve really become Sarah. The Duchess is here. Good old Fergie’s here too. But Sarah is authentically present,” Sarah explained,
During her time in the spotlight, the mother of two admitted she often had an “extraordinary fear of getting it wrong,” but now realizes that “being Sarah is just enough.”
The Duchess of York pictured with her daughters Princess Beatrice, 32, and Princess Eugenie, 31, and her ex-husband Prince Andrew
Sarah, better known as Fergie, said she discovered herself when she wrote her novel, Her Heart for a Compass – her first historical fiction novel aimed at adults.
It is described as a ‘immersive historical saga’ that ‘takes the reader from the salons of Victoria’s court and the great manors of Scotland and Ireland, to the slums of London and the commercial bustle of New York of the 1870s’.
EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT FROM ‘HER HEART FOR A COMPASS’
Montagu House, London, Wednesday 19 July 1865.
‘Ah, there you are! It’s fast approaching midnight, my love.’
Lord Rufus Ponsonby, the Earl of Killin, was regarded by most as a presentable-looking man.
His angular jaw was always clean-shaven; his hair was perfectly cut. His tall, rather thin figure was always impeccably dressed.
His aquiline profile was suitably haughty as befits an earl of the realm.
Every aspect of him was stern, repressed and calculated.
Lady Margaret Montagu Douglas Scott took an involuntary step back as he loomed over her. “I know that all too well.”
As always, he seemed oblivious to her prickly reaction to him.
‘Why are you sneaking in the shadows?
Maybe you’re worried about your clothes,’ he continued, answering his own question.
‘Let me reassure you. Your dress is neither too simple nor too graceful for the occasion. All the young ladies in their first season wear white.’
‘Look at me,’ persisted Margaret, ‘don’t you think I look like a ghost at my own engagement party? I am, literally, a ghost at the party.’
“I think your tendency to be imaginative is showing up.”
His lordship, his attention to his watch, did not notice the note of suppressed hysteria in her tone.
Lord Rufus checked his gold timepiece against the ballroom clock, frowned, looked again, made a slight adjustment, and checked it one last time before closing the cupboard and returning it to his vest pocket.
“We’d better go with your parents for the announcement,” he said. “They’ll get worried.”
‘I think if anyone has a right to be concerned,’ she said, smiling between clenched teeth, ‘it should be me. After all, my life is about to change forever.’
Though he smiled in turn, it was a symbolic effort that was not reflected in his eyes.
‘We are on the cusp of a new life together, Lady Margaret. I’d like to embrace it.’
Lady Margaret’s story explores the Duchess’s heritage and draws on her own unique life journey and experiences.
“It all started with researching my ancestors,” Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie’s mother explained. “As I was delving into the history of the Montagu-Douglas Scotts, I first came across Lady Margaret, who intrigued me because she shared one of my first names.
“But although her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, were close friends with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, I couldn’t find out much about my namesake’s early life, and so the idea was born that her heart turned to a compass.
“With real historical events and facts at hand, my imagination took over. I made up a history for her that included real people and events, including some of my other ancestors.
“I created a friendship between my heroine and Princess Louise, Queen Victoria’s sixth child, and I drew many parallels from my life to Lady Margaret’s journey.
Rich in historical detail and based on extensive research, the novel offers a captivating look at Victorian England in the wake of Prince Albert’s death.
It also focuses on the fascinating journey of a woman, born in the higher echelons of society, who wants to break the mold, follow her internal compass (her heart) and discover her raison d’être – and fall in love along the way.
The Duchess joined forces with her ‘collaborator and mentor’ Marguerite Kaye – who has written more than 50 novels for Mills & Boon over the centuries and her books and novellas have sold more than 1.5 million copies in more than 20 countries. .
Mills & Boon – the number one publisher of romantic fiction in the UK – was founded in 1908.
The books – written by women for women – range from historical romance to rom-com and erotica, with one being sold every 10 seconds in the UK.
The Duchess, who has previously written her memoirs, is the author of numerous children’s books, including the Little Red series and Budgie the Little Helicopter, and she was executive producer of the 2009 landmark film The Young Victoria.
In 2020, the Duchess published several new children’s books: The Enchanted Oak; Arthur Fantastic; Spirit gems.
She has a lot more in the pipeline, including a new Budgie book.
Her books have collectively sold more than 1.5 million copies.
She has been reading children’s books on her YouTube channel, Storytime with Fergie and Friends, during the pandemic.
“I have long had a passion for historical research and telling the stories of strong women in history through film and television,” she added.
“I’m proud to bring my personal brand of historical fiction to the publishing world.”
Executive Publisher for Mills & Boon Lisa Milton noted, “Across TV, film and books, history continues to grow in popularity.
This brilliant, compelling story is perfect for our existing readers and for reaching fans of best-selling novelists such as Philippa Gregory and Anne O’Brien.
“Mills & Boon are honored to publish the Duchess of York’s debut novel as we enter the next century of brilliant books by women for women being published.”
Her Heart for A Compass will be published on August 3, 2021 by William Morrow in the US and Mills & Boon in the UK, both HarperCollins, but can be pre-ordered at Amazon.