Jane Ridley

Author / Historian

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Books

Agent: Caroline Dawnay
Assistant: Kat Aitken

Books

Jane Ridley is an historian at Buckingham University where she teaches a course on biography.
            

Latest publication:

BERTIE: A LIFE OF EDWARD VII, Chatto & Windus, August 2012
Edward Vll, who gave his name to the Edwardian Age and died in 1911, was King of England for the final 10 years of his life. He was 59 when at last he came to power. Known as Bertie, and the eldest son of Victoria and Albert, he was bullied by both his parents. 

His mother, Queen Victoria, the first and most powerful woman in his life, blamed Bertie's scandalous womanising for his father's early demise. Although Bertie was heir to the throne, she refused to give him any proper responsibilities, so he spent his time eating (his nickname was 'Edward the Wide'), betting on race-horses and shooting grouse. He was married off to Alexandra of Denmark, who was beautiful but infantile, lavishing her affection on her doggies and pet bunnies. Bertie's numerous mistresses included the society hostess Daisy Brook ('Babbling Brook'), the gorgeous but fragile Lillie Langtry (with whom 'played house' in a specially built hide-away home) and the clever and manipulative Alice Keppel. 
 
Contrary to popular and historical belief, when Bertie finally became king, he did a good job, especially in foreign policy. This colourful book gives him due credit, while painting a vivid portrait of the age in all its excess and eccentricity, hypocrisy and heartbreak.

Non-Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes
2003

Chatto & Windus

'The stature of Edwin Lutyens as an artist is beyond dispute; what remains tantalising is the psychology of that extraordinary man.' Gavin Stamp

1995

Sinclair-Stevenson

An account of Disraeli's personal and public lives which draws on his letters and his neglected early novels. It tells of his youth in Bloomsbury, and his novel "Vivian Grey" which catapulted him to precocious fame and infamy. Via literature, he was led to Toryism and Parliament.

1992

Hamish Hamilton

The letters of Arthur Balfour and Lacy Elcho had been hidden in a tin box for four decades. We opened the box with a jemmy. The letters between Prime Minister Arthur Balfour and Mary Elcho light up the Edwardian world - as well as revealing an intriguing relationship. Co-edited by Clayre Percy

1991

HarperCollins

This account of fox hunting charts its development from the 18th century to the present. It looks at hunting and also at its opponents, starting with the Liberal historian Freeman in 1869, and currently the hunt saboteurs.