We encourage our staff and students to be enterprising in all they do and we maintain close ties with regional employers

View content


Dr Elena (ellie) Woodacre is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern European History. She began her undergraduate studies in her native USA and completed her BA in Humanities with Classical Studies with the OU after she moved to the UK. She received an MA in Medieval Studies (with Merit) from the University of Reading in 2006 and shortly thereafter began her doctoral studies at Bath Spa University. Her PhD thesis was titled 'The Queens of Navarre 1274-1512: Succession, Politics and Partnership and focussed on issues surrounding female rule, matrimonial politics and the relationship between reigning queens and consort kings'. Her post-doctoral research investigates the female kinship network between four queens who were all first cousins at the turn of the 16th century.

She joined the History Department at Winchester in 2012 and is currently the Faculty Coordinator for Postgraduate Research Degrees.

Elena is the organiser of the ‘Kings & Queens’ conference series and the founder of the Royal Studies Network, a resource that aims to bring together scholars who work on monarchical topics to enable them to collaborate and share information on their research. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Studies Journal, an academic open-access publication launched in 2014.

Her teaching interests include issues related to gender and power, the Renaissance and the political and cultural history of Early Modern Europe, particularly France, Spain and Italy.

Higher Education Teaching Qualification: Higher Education Academy Fellowship (FHEA).

Areas of expertise

  • Female rule
  • Consort kings
  • French and Iberian history (especially the history of Navarre)


Books and book chapters

  • Virtuous or Villainess? The image of the royal mother from the early medieval to the Early Modern Eras, (co-edited with Carey Fleiner; Palgrave Macmillan 2016)
  • ‘Cousins & Queens: family ties, political ambition & epistolary fiplomacy in Renaissance Europe’ in G. Sluga, G. Calvi and C. James (eds) Women, diplomacy and international relations from 1500 (Routledge, 2015)
  • Royal mothers and their ruling children: wielding political authority from Antiquity to the Early Modern Era (co-edited with Carey Fleiner; Palgrave Macmillan 2015)
  • ‘The kings consort of Navarre: 1284-1512’ in C. Beem and M. Taylor (eds) The man behind the Queen: the male consort in history (Palgrave Macmillan 2014)
  • The image and perception of monarchy in medieval and Early Modern Europe (co-edited with Sean McGlynn, Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2014)
  • Mediterranean Queenship; negotiating the role of the Queen in the medieval and Early Modern Era (sole editor, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
  • The Queens Regnant of Navarre: succession, politics and partnership, 1274 – 1512 (Palgrave MacMillan Queenship and Power Series 2013)
  • ‘The Queen's marriage; matrimonial politics in Pre-Modern Europe’, in J. Murray (ed.) Marriage in Pre-Modern Europe; Italy and beyond (CRRS Publications, 2012), pp 29-46
  • ‘Questionable authority; female sovereigns and their consorts in medieval and Early Modern Chronicles’, in J. Dresvina and N. Sparks (eds), Authority and Gender in Medieval and Renaissance Chronicles (Cambridge Scholars, 2012)

Journal articles

  • (2016) Poder y parentesco: ¿Los fundamentos de reinar? El impacto de las relaciones familiares y conyugales en los reinados de las reinas titulares de Navarra (1274 - 1517). Anuario de Estudios Medievales, 46 (1) 167-201.
  • ‘The She-Wolves of Medieval Navarre’, History Today Vol. 62, Issue 6 (June 2012), 47-51


For conference presentations, see Dr Woodacre's Academia.edu page.

Staff Directory