Jasper Ridley

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For the banker, see Jasper Nicholas Ridley.

Jasper Ridley (25 May 1920 – 1 July 2004) was a British writer, known for historical biographies. He received the 1970 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his biography Lord Palmerston.

Born in West Hoathly, Sussex, he was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, and the Sorbonne. He trained and practiced as a barrister, before starting to write. During World War II, he was a conscientious objector and was, by his own account, violently abused while in a detention camp. He served on St Pancras Borough Council from 1945 to 1949, and stood, unsuccessfully, as Labour Party candidate for Winchester in 1955 general election.


  • The Tate Gallery's Wartime Acquisitions (1942)
  • The Law of the Carriage of Goods by Land, Sea and Air (1957)
  • Nicholas Ridley (1957)
  • Thomas Cranmer (1962)
  • John Knox (1968)
  • Lord Palmerston (1970)
  • Garibaldi (1974)
  • The Roundheads (1976)
  • Napoleon III and Eugénie (1979)
  • The History of England (1981)
  • Statesman and Saint: Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More, and the Politics of Henry VIII (1982)
  • Life and Times of Mary Tudor (1973)
  • Henry VIII the Politics of Tyranny (1984)
  • The Tudor Age (1988)
  • The Love Letters of Henry VIII (1988) editor
  • Elizabeth I: the Shrewdness of Virtue (1988)
  • Maximilian & Juarez (1992)
  • Tito (1994)
  • A History of the Carpenters' Company (1995)
  • Mussolini (1997)
  • The Freemasons: A History of the World's Most Powerful Secret Society (1999)
  • The Houses of Hanover and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha: A Royal History of England (2000) with John Clarke
  • Bloody Mary's Martyrs: The Story of England’s Terror (2001)
  • A Brief History of The Tudor Age (2002)

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