|Born||15 May 1953|
|Education||Cranborne Chase School, Wiltshire|
|Alma mater|| St Hugh's College, Oxford |
Nuffield College, Oxford
|Occupation||Professor of modern history, biographer, author|
|Employer||University of Buckingham|
Jane Ridley (born 15 May 1953) is an English historian, biographer, author and broadcaster, and Professor of Modern History at the University of Buckingham.
The University of Buckingham (UB) is a non-profit, private university in the UK and the oldest of the country's five private universities. It is located in Buckingham, England, and was founded as the University College at Buckingham (UCB) in 1973, admitting its first students in 1976. It was granted university status by royal charter in 1983. Buckingham offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and doctoral degrees through five "schools" of study.
Ridley won the Duff Cooper Prize in 2002 for The Architect and his Wife, a biography of her great-grandfather Edwin Lutyens.
The Duff Cooper Prize is a literary prize awarded annually for the best work of history, biography, political science or poetry, published in English or French. The prize was established in honour of Duff Cooper, a British diplomat, Cabinet member and author. The prize was first awarded in 1956 to Alan Moorehead for his Gallipoli. At present, the winner receives a first edition copy of Duff Cooper's autobiography Old Men Forget and a cheque for £5,000.
Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens, was an English architect known for imaginatively adapting traditional architectural styles to the requirements of his era. He designed many English country houses, war memorials and public buildings. In his biography, the writer Christopher Hussey wrote, "In his lifetime (Lutyens) was widely held to be our greatest architect since Wren if not, as many maintained, his superior". The architectural historian Gavin Stamp described him as "surely the greatest British architect of the twentieth century".
Born in Northumberland in the north east of England on 15 May 1953, Ridley is the eldest daughter of the former Conservative Cabinet minister Nicholas Ridley (1929–1993) and a granddaughter of The 3rd Viscount Ridley, by his marriage to Ursula Lutyens. Her father married Clayre Campbell (1927–2015), a daughter of Alistair, 4th Baron Stratheden and Campbell. They had three daughters, Jane (1953), Susanna (1955), and Jessica (1957), and were divorced in 1974.Her great-grandmother Lady Emily Bulwer-Lytton (1874–1964), who dismayed her parents by marrying the architect Lutyens, was a daughter of the Earl of Lytton, Viceroy of India in the 1870s. His parents were the novelists Edward and Rosina Bulwer Lytton. Her cousins include the economist Sir Adam Ridley.
Northumberland is a county in North East England. The northernmost county of England, it borders Cumbria to the west, County Durham and Tyne and Wear to the south and the Scottish Borders to the north. To the east is the North Sea coastline with a 64 miles (103 km) path. The county town is Alnwick, although the County council is based in Morpeth.
The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, and also has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors.
Nicholas Ridley, Baron Ridley of Liddesdale, was a British Conservative politician and government minister.
Ridley was educated at Cranborne Chase School, an independent boarding school for girls, since closed, then occupying New Wardour Castle, near the village of Tisbury in Wiltshire,and later at St Hugh's College, Oxford, as an Exhibitioner in History. She took a first class honours degree in 1974, then was a research student at Nuffield College until 1978, graduating D. Phil. in 1985 with a thesis entitled Leadership and Management in the Conservative Party in Parliament 1906–1914.
Cranborne Chase School was an independent boarding school for girls, originally opened in 1946 at Crichel House in the village of Moor Crichel in Dorset. In 1961, the school moved to New Wardour Castle near Tisbury in Wiltshire, and extensively renovated the building, which had fallen into a severe state of disrepair.
A boarding school provides education for pupils who live on the premises, as opposed to a day school. The word "boarding" is used in the sense of "room and board", i.e. lodging and meals. As they have existed for many centuries, and now extend across many countries, their function and ethos varies greatly. Traditionally, pupils stayed at the school for the length of the term; some schools facilitate returning home every weekend, and some welcome day pupils. Some are for either boys or girls while others are co-educational.
New Wardour Castle is an English country house at Wardour, near Tisbury in Wiltshire, built for the Arundell family. The house is of a Palladian style, designed by the architect James Paine, with additions by Giacomo Quarenghi, who was a principal architect of the Imperial Russian capital city Saint Petersburg.
In 1979, Ridley was appointed a lecturer in history at the University of Buckingham, where she was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1994, to Reader in 2002, to Senior Tutor responsible for student discipline the next year, and finally to Professor in 2007. At Buckingham she continues to serve as Senior Tutor and to teach history and has been in charge of the university's Master of Arts course in biography since establishing it in 1996.This was the first such postgraduate course.
Ridley's first book was The Letters of Edwin Lutyens (1985), a collection of her great-grandfather's letters, edited jointly with her mother, Clayre Percy.She combined social history with her sport of fox hunting to produce Fox hunting: a history (1990), which begins with the words "Fox hunting isn't strictly necessary."
Social history, often called the new social history, is a field of history that looks at the lived experience of the past. In its "golden age" it was a major growth field in the 1960s and 1970s among scholars, and still is well represented in history departments in Britain, Canada, France, Germany, and the United States. In the two decades from 1975 to 1995, the proportion of professors of history in American universities identifying with social history rose from 31% to 41%, while the proportion of political historians fell from 40% to 30%. In the history departments of British and Irish universities in 2014, of the 3410 faculty members reporting, 878 (26%) identified themselves with social history while political history came next with 841 (25%).
Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase and, if caught, the killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of unarmed followers led by a "master of foxhounds", who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.
In 1995, Ridley's The Young Disraeli was published, dealing with Benjamin Disraeli's early years. She disputes that he should be considered the father of one-nation conservatism, writing that "Disraeli didn't use the expression and nor did he want to create a classless society... The legend of Disraeli was created largely by the Conservative party, which needed a hero on whom to pin its ideas about making the party electable in a democracy."
Ridley's biography of Lutyens, The Architect and his Wife, won the Duff Cooper Prize for 2002.
In 2008, Ridley was given a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to work on her biography of King Edward VII,and this was finally published as Bertie: A Life of Edward VII in 2012. In reviewing the work for The Spectator , A. N. Wilson called it "profoundly learned and a cracking good read" and gave his opinion that "After this irreverent new life of Edward VII, royal biography will never be the same again."
In 1986, Ridley married Stephen Francis Thomas, a writer, the younger son of Sir William James Cooper Thomas, 2nd Baronet, by his marriage to Freida Dunbar Whyte. They have two sons, Toby (born 1988) and Humphrey (born 1991).
Ridley is a member of the committee of the London Library and lives in Dorset Square, Marylebone.
Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham was an English nobleman. He was the son of Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, and Katherine Woodville, whose sister, Queen Elizabeth Woodville, was the wife of King Edward IV. He was convicted of treason and executed on 17 May 1521.
Duke of Fife is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom which has been created twice, in both cases for Alexander Duff, 6th Earl Fife, who in 1889 married Louise, Princess Royal, the eldest daughter of the future King Edward VII.
Sir Alfred Cooper was a fashionable English surgeon and clubman of the late 19th century whose patients included Edward, Prince of Wales. He is an ancestor of David Cameron, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, was an English statesman, Conservative politician, and poet. He served as Viceroy of India between 1876 and 1880 - during his tenure as which Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India - and as British Ambassador to France from 1887 to 1891.
Lindisfarne Castle is a 16th-century castle located on Holy Island, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, England, much altered by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1901. The island is accessible from the mainland at low tide by means of a causeway.
Henry Algernon Percy, 5th Earl of Northumberland, KG was an English nobleman and a member of the courts of both Kings Henry VII and Henry VIII.
The Lady of the Bedchamber is the title of a lady-in-waiting holding the official position of personal attendant on a British queen or princess. The position is traditionally held by a female member of a noble family. They are ranked between the First Lady of the Bedchamber and the Women of the Bedchamber. They are also styled Gentlewoman of Her Majesty's Bedchamber.
Edith Penelope Mary Lutyens was a British author who is principally known for her authoritative biographical works on the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti.
Anna Wheeler, also known by her maiden name of Anna Doyle, was an Irish born British writer and advocate of political rights for women and the benefits of contraception. She married Francis Massey Wheeler when she was "about 16" and he was "about 19", although the year is not known. They separated twelve years later. After his death she supplemented her income by translating the works of French philosophers.
Artemis Cooper, Lady Beevor FRSL is a British writer, primarily of biographies.
Eleanor Percy, Duchess of Buckingham, also known as Alianore, was the eldest daughter of Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland, by his wife, Lady Maud Herbert, daughter of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke. Eleanor Percy married Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham, who was beheaded in 1521 on false charges of plotting to overthrow the king, Henry VIII. As a result, the Dukedom of Buckingham and estates were forfeited, and her children lost their inheritance.
Lady Constance Georgina Bulwer-Lytton, usually known as Constance Lytton, was an influential British suffragette activist, writer, speaker and campaigner for prison reform, votes for women, and birth control. She sometimes used the name Jane Warton.
Rosina Bulwer Lytton was an Anglo-Irish writer who published fourteen novels, a volume of essays and a volume of letters.
Sir James Reid, 1st Baronet, was Physician in ordinary to three British monarchs. He is the subject of a 1987 biography by Michaela Reid, which has been reprinted several times.
Edith Villiers, Countess of Lytton was a British aristocrat. Wife of Robert Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton, she led the Indian Imperial court as Vicereine of India. She was later a court-attendant of Queen Victoria. Her children included the suffragette Lady Constance Bulwer-Lytton.
Homewood is an Arts and Crafts style country house in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, England. Designed and built by architect Edwin Lutyens around 1900–3, using a mixture of vernacular and Neo-Georgian architecture, it is a Grade II* listed building. The house was one of Lutyens' first experiments in the addition of classical features to his previously vernacular style, and the introduction of symmetry into his plans. The gardens, also designed by Lutyens, are Grade II listed in the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
The equestrian statue of Edward Horner stands inside St Andrew's Church in the village of Mells in Somerset, south-western England. It was designed by the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, as a memorial to Edward Horner, who died of wounds in the First World War. The sculpture was executed by Alfred Munnings.
Frances Jane Horner was a British hostess, member of the Souls social group, and a patron of the arts. She was depicted several times by Edward Burne-Jones, and commissioned works by Edwin Lutyens, Eric Gill, and William Nicholson.