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Dr Lynsey Wood

Formerly at Lancaster University

Lynsey Wood

Research overview

My current area of research concerns female succession to the English throne during the sixteenth century, with a particular focus on the claims of the Grey sisters.


Thesis Title

'Pretty Maids All in a Row': Ruling Queens and the Language of Legitimation in Sixteenth Century England


My PhD research is concerned with female succession during the Tudor period and the methods by which female heirs presented themselves or were presented by others as viable candidates for the throne rather than as ruling queens. Over the course of my research I hope to trace the development of changing attitudes to female dynastic succession during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as well as the extent to which female heirs were able to exercise their own prerogative when defining and negotiating an image for themselves. As well as studying court rolls, parliamentary papers, royal proclamations, chronicles, correspondence, popular ballads and legal tracts in both Latin and English, I shall also be investigating contemporary portraiture of these female heirs and where possible reconstructing their provenance from the sixteenth century up until the present day.

Career Details

I am currently in the second year of my PhD at Lancaster, where I also completed a B.A. in History in 2010 and an M.A. in Historical Research in 2011.

I was awarded the Queen’s Studentship from Lancaster University as the best qualified candidate for a research degree in History in 2011, after receiving a distinction for my M.A. thesis.

I presented a paper entitled 'A Most Scandalous Union: Spiritual and Secular Legitimacy in the Marriage of John of Gaunt and Katherine Swynford' at the Lancaster Histfest conference in Spring 2012. I also conducted a public lecture at Lancaster Cathedral as part of the Lancaster Unlocked History Talks marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The talk was adapted from my M.A. thesis and entitled 'Mary Tudor: The Original Virgin Queen'.

I have also had two papers published in undergraduate and postgraduate journals:

'Memento Mori': A Death Obsession in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe?' in Alpata: A Journal of History, vol. 6 (Spring, 2009)

'Empress Matilda and the Anarchy: The Problems of Royal Succession in Medieval England' in History Studies, vol. 11 (2010).

Current Teaching

I am a currently a tutor for the HIST100 'From the Medieval to the Modern: History and Historians' course.

Other Interests and Hobbies

When I am not studying I like to waste time arguing with people on the internet about television shows. I am also an avid writer and gamer, and have recently taken up archery and yoga.

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