Brought Up of Nought: A History of the Woodvile Family

Author(s): Lynda J. Pidgeon 

ISBN: 9781781557433
£21.00 £30.00
Two marriages, a rise to the top of medieval society, then brought down by the jealous Richard, Earl of Warwick.
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  • The first study to examine in detail the role of Warwick the Kingmaker in the creation of the Woodviles’ reputation

  • A wider scope covering county connections on Northamptonshire, leading to royal service in the 14th century

  • The first study into how both branches of the family rose and fell

  • A comprehensive study of the family origins with genealogies 

Described as 'greedy and grasping, and raised from nothing', the reputation of the Woodvile family has been tarnished throughout generations: was the Woodviles' 'blackened reputation' the result of a concerted campaign by one man - Richard, Earl of Warwick - who was jealous of the Woodviles and eager to retrieve his position as 'kingmaker'?

Brought Up of Nought investigates the family origins and explains the rise and fall of the senior branch from 'baron' to gentry, and how, in the early fifteenth century, the wheel of fortune turned dramatically in favour of the junior branch in Northamptonshire, which rose to the highest level of society. Sir Richard Woodvile was placed in the service of John, Duke of Bedford, at his court in Rouen; when the duke died, Woodvile then secretly married Bedford’s widow, Jacquetta, and in 1464, their daughter, Elizabeth, made an extraordinary marriage to the young king, Edward IV. This move attracted criticism at the time and resulted in a period of slander that continues to this day.

BOOK ISBN 9781781557433
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 352 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 12 December 2019
ILLUSTRATIONS 32 colour illustrations



Lynda J. Pidgeon gained a BA in history and an MA in medieval studies from the University of Reading and went on to gain a PhD from the University of Southampton. She specialises in medieval history and has published articles on the Woodvile family, Richard III, and medieval marriage. She teaches on Richard III, the Wars of the Roses, and medieval life for the Department for Continuing Education at the University of Oxford, and was research officer of the Richard III society from 2009 to 2016. She has also appeared in 'The Princes in the Tower' episode of The History Channel's 'Mystery Files'.