Ridgway was born in Lancashire in 1971, her father was a head teacher and her mother was a housewife. She credits her primary school teacher, Mr. Taylor, for setting her off in her love of literature and history.
Ridgway met her husband, Timothy Ridgway, at university and the couple married in 1995. They have three children and Ridgway opted to give up her teaching career to be a full-time mother for 10 years before returning to her career.8 UK O-Levels from Alcester Grammar School
3 UK A-Levels from Alcester Grammar School:
BA Hons. with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in Religion and Education (English as subsidiary subject) from University of Warwick 1989–1993Primary School Teacher – 1993–1996
Freelance Writer – 2008–2009
Historian and Blogger – 2009–present
In 2009, Ridgway set up her Tudor history website, www.TheAnneBoleynFiles.com, and it rapidly grew into a major website for the study of the Tudor period. This website has peaked at over 900 site visitors at the same time in 2013. Through her website, Ridgway was involved in running historical tours through her company History Tours of Britain. The first tour was in 2010, with subsequent tours until 2012. These tours were based around Hever Castle in Kent, with notable guest speakers such as Eric Ives, John Guy, Julia Fox and Elizabeth Norton. The company was closed due to Ridgway wanting to focus on her writing in 2012.
Ridgway has a team of book reviewers who regularly review historical books. These reviews are read by over 2500 people a month. Her first book, The Anne Boleyn Collection (2012), was an instant success with her fans and has gone on to sell over 55,000 copies in its first two years. This book is a collection of the top articles from Ridgway's website.
Ridgway quickly followed her first book with a more in-depth study of the lead-up to the execution of Anne Boleyn. This book, The Fall of Anne Boleyn (2012), shows the brutal speed that Anne Boleyn was taken from power, and has been an even larger success with over 69,000 copies selling in its first two years.
Putting together her detailed research into the Tudor period, Ridgway's third book, On This Day in Tudor History (2012), is larger book with 366 entries about things which happened during the reign of the Tudors. It includes notable births, deaths, coronations and interesting trivia. This book sold 12,000 copies within its first year.
Ridgway's success in self-publishing led her to want to share her knowledge to other authors. With this in mind, Ridgway interviewed top self-published authors to discover what their secrets were, and what motivated them. The results are published in Interviews with Indie Authors (2012). She also created a website to share hints and tips, and to continue the work of interviewing successful authors.
In 2013, Ridgway published a second instalment of The Anne Boleyn Collection. However, in this book she was able to publish articles which had only been seen by her private members-only website, making this book of more interest to her readers. In its first six months the book has sold over 3500 copies.
Through her research into Anne Boleyn, Ridgway has become interested in George Boleyn, the brother of Anne Boleyn. Her upcoming book, written jointly with Clare Cherry, George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat, aims to flesh out George as a popular and well-liked courtier from the court of Henry VIII, continuing Ridgway's aim to clarify what is known about the Tudor period. This book is the first modern biography of George Boleyn, the last biography was written over 100 years ago by a French ambassador, Edmond Bapst. This book is due for publication in late April 2014.