Saturday, October 31, 2015

Royal Blogger Spotlight: Claire Ridgway

For the first profile in this series, we connected with the mastermind behind The Anne Boleyn Files, a terrific history site that focuses on Henry VIII's second wife, her times and the people around her. Claire Ridgway is originally from the United Kingdom but she now lives is Spain. Like many bloggers, Claire runs more than one site; her other blog, The Tudor Society, focuses more broadly on the Tudor era. These blogs provide a lot of variety: sound historically accurate content, connections to the modern day, book reviews, and links to more resources.

Our Questions for Claire Ridgway

What inspired you to create a web site about royal history?
I've always been interested in Tudor history, having covered it at school, but it was actually a nightmare that started me researching Anne Boleyn's life and setting up The Anne Boleyn Files. In January 2009, I had a dream in which I was a member of the crowd at Anne Boleyn's execution. I can't remember the details of the dream, only the strong feelings of horror and helplessness at what was happening. I woke up, woke my husband up and told him that I was going to start researching Anne's life and that I needed him to make me a website called The Anne Boleyn Files. I then started sharing my research as I did it.

What do you find most challenging about maintaining your blogs?
The time that it takes. I work full-time on my blogs and research and it's not office hours. I work week days and weekends, and sometimes evenings too. However, I love what I do so that definitely makes it easier. It's not just research and writing, it's also handling emails, comments and questions. It's taken over my life but it means that I'm working on what I love.

What do you find most rewarding about maintaining your blogs?
The contact I have with others, be it other bloggers/writers or the general public. It's always heartwarming to hear that my work has helped people with their own research and that people enjoy what I do.

What is your first royal memory?
My first vivid memory concerning my own royal family, i.e. the British royal family, was seeing Prince Charles and Princess Diana drive through my grandparents' town in North Wales just after they had got married. I was a child and was very excited.

Who are your personal favorites among royalty?
The Tudor dynasty because they're who I spend every day with! If you're talking about modern royalty then I'd say The Queen. She's at the age where most people want an easy life, enjoying their retirement, and there she is still working hard for charities and the like. I respect her sense of duty and the work she does. She also seems to have a wicked sense of humour!

Claire's Sites
The Anne Boleyn Files
The Tudor Society

Where You Can Find Claire
Twitter: @AnneBoleynFiles