We tend to think of Queen Elizabeth I as one of the first really powerful women, but it's Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, who can be said to be the mother of the Tudor dynasty.
Born in 1441 she was a politician, landowner and a founder of colleges, but it's as a patron of the arts that she's remembered in a new exhibition of Gothic Art that opened this week at the V&A museum in London.
Lady Margaret Beaufort had a claim to the throne herself and her royal descent made her a valuable political commodity as Corinne Julius discovered when she went to St John's College Cambridge to meet Lady Margaret's archivist and biographer, Malcolm Underwood and Janet Backhouse, specialist in illuminated manuscripts at Christ's College. Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547 is at the V&A museum in London from 9 Oct - 18 Jan
The King's Mother Lady Margaret Beaufort Countess of Richmond and Derby by Michael K Jones and Malcolm G Underwood is published by Cambridge University Press