Veronica Wedgwood

[C. V. Wedgwood]

Biography of Veronica Wedgwood

Dame (Cicely) Veronica Wedgwood (20 July 1910 – 9 March 1997) was an English historian who generally published under the name C. V. Wedgwood.

Wedgwood was born Stocksfield, Northumberland. She specialized in European history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including her still-authoritative study The Thirty Years' War (1938 and many later reprintings) and biographies of Oliver Cromwell, William the Silent, and Cardinal Richelieu, as well as the authoritative Caroline trilogy,The Great Rebellion, which included The King’s Peace (1955), The King’s War (1958), and The Trial of Charles I (1964), reprinted as A Coffin for King Charles.

Thirty years after she published her much-praised biography of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, she returned to the subject and published a much-revised version that was considerably more critical of her subject. Historians often cite Wedgwood's two lives of Strafford as an illustration of scholarly integrity and open-mindedness.

Born in Northumberland, she was educated at Norland Place School and read Modern History at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and became a specialist in the English Civil War and early 17th century history. Well regarded in academic circles, her books are widely read, and she was also successful as a lecturer and broadcaster. In 1946 she translated Elias Canetti's Die Blendung, as Auto-da-Fé, under Canetti's supervision.

She was the only daughter of Sir Ralph Wedgwood and his wife Iris Veronica Pawson. She had a brother, Sir John Wedgwood. Her book The Last of the Radicals (1951), was about her uncle Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood.

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