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Personal profile


My name is Laura Ridgway and I am a researcher of early modern history, having being studying history for the past ten years.  

I am currently studying for my PhD in history at the University of Northampton, after completing my MA in history here at the University and completing my B.A. hons history through the Open University. I have a wide range of experience of studying different periods of history, ranging from the ancient world, to world history looking at slavery and empire, most periods of English history through to modern topics. 

My focus of interest is mainly Tudor and Stuart history, with my current work centering upon the later early modern period, but connecting to the dominant historical themes and works of gender, family and culture. 

Research Interests

I am studying about the occupation of the 17th century mistress, through the lens of the royal mistresses of Charles II. My work aims to further delve into a key period where gender and sex dominated the court of Charles II to highlight how such periods helped define concepts and contribute to the studies of gender and society within early modern England. I would like to use my research to show how the Restoration is so important in building upon the study of more recent historical concepts such as the history of emotions.  


Research interests 

*Early modern elite women 

*Early modern court and culture  

*Sex and the 17th century mistress 

*History of elite female emotions  

*Gender and the body  

*Conspicuous consumption and the importance of dress, beauty and aesthetics upon the female body 

*Restoration politics and religion  

Education/Academic qualification

Master, University of Northampton


Award Date: 25 Oct 2019

Bachelor, The Open University


Award Date: 28 Oct 2016

External positions

Senior Clinical Coder, Russells Hall Hospital

2017 → …


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