Dr J L Laynesm

Visiting Research Fellow
University of Re
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Joanna Laynesmith is a medieval historian writing on queens, noblewomen and royal adultery in medieval Britain. She regularly gives lectures for local history groups or Richard III Society Branches. She has been a guest on Radio 4's In Our Time, and appeared on Time Team and The Real White Queen and her Rivals.

Her biography of Cecily duchess of York, published by Bloomsbury Academic in July 2017, won the 2018 Royal Studies Network Book Prize.

'Its scholarship is impeccable and its style very readable.' Livia Visser-Fuchs in The Ricardian

'In restoring Cecily Neville to her rightful place, Joanna Laynesmith has produced a book that is both scholarly and a pleasure to read, and that will surely appeal to a broad readership.'     Hannes Kleineke, The History of Parliament 

'Rarely do we have the source material to present a medieval woman as a fully-fleshed out human being, which is what Laynesmith has accomplished in this work.' Lois L. Huneycutt, University of Missouri 

'An outstanding picture of one of the most important figures, male or female, during the fifteenth century . . . Joanna Laynesmith has set a benchmark with this work, not only in the study of Cecily Neville, but in the study of medieval women more generally. It is a benchmark I can't see being reached by many.'   Matthew Lewis, Author of Richard duke of York. King by Right 

Her first book, The Last Medieval Queens, was a joint winner of the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Prize 2005.

'an example of integrated medieval studies at their best'.   Miri Rubin, Queen Mary University of London

'[A] richly nuanced study . . . It will be the essential reference point for discussion of late medieval English queenship for many years to come'.   Nigel Saul, Royal Holloway University of London

'This is a stunning piece of scholarship, essential reading for anyone who seeks an understanding of these late-medieval queens. Laynesmith's research is extensive, and she writes in an engaging manner, proving that academic history can also be accessible history'.  Alison Weir

Joanna is currently working on a study of the politics of royal adultery in early Medieval Britain.