Dr Kirsten Claiden-Yardley read history as an undergraduate at Merton College, Oxford, going on to complete a MSc in English Local History at Kellogg College, Oxford focussing on 16th century Buckinghamshire and the development of the English country house. From 2006 she worked in academic publishing for Wiley-Blackwell, leaving in 2009 to return to full time study at Merton.
Kirsten’s doctoral thesis was a closely researched and detailed study of noble identity and commemoration in the Tudor period, including the analysis of contemporary tombs, epitaphs, and memorial chapels. This work was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and supported by English Heritage and the Norfolk Museum Service. It was part of a collaborative project, Representing Re-Formation, which included archaeological assessment, 3d scanning and modelling of 16th century tombs, petrographical analysis, and photographic recording.
Thanks to her growing reputation for expertise in the early modern period, Kirsten has delivered a number of research papers at national and international conferences. In 2014 she was engaged as the production researcher for the critically acclaimed Company Pictures production Wolf Hall, for the BBC and PBS in the United States. Alongside this she was contracted by the BBC as an academic consultant for their partner web content, iWonder Guides to Tudor England. She also works as an historical adviser on fiction and non-fiction projects, including Sons of the Blood and Court Of Wolves, novels by popular author Robyn Young, and Henry VIII, part of the Usborne Young Reading Series 3.
In January 2020, Kirsten’s first book, The Man Behind the Tudors, a biography of Thomas Howard, 2nd duke of Norfolk, was published by Pen & Sword. Articles to accompany the book were published in Historia Magazine and on History HIT.
Between July 2015 and September 2016, Kirsten worked for the Diocese of Oxford as Assistant Church Buildings Officer.