Six authors are in the running for this year’s £40,000 Wolfson History prize, with books covering a broad range of historical topics – from the grisly world of Victorian medicine to the untold story of Africans living in Tudor England.
Speaking on behalf of the judges, Professor Sir David Cannadine said that the shortlist for 2018 is a “testament to the strength of writing on history in the UK today”.
“What unites the authors is a commitment to share careful research and a deep love of their subject with as wide an audience as possible,” he said. “As judges we found ourselves engrossed, challenged, and delighted by our reading.”
The Wolfson History Prize, which was first awarded in 1972, recognises UK authors who excel in writing scholarly history that is suitable for a general audience. Last year’s winner was Dr Christopher de Hamel, whose book Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts was commended for pushing the boundaries of “what it means to write history”.
A panel of four historians – Professor David Cannadine, Professor Sir Richard Evans, Revd Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch and Professor Carole Hillenbrand – face the difficult task of selecting this year’s winner.
Their decision will be revealed on Monday 4 June at a reception at Claridge’s, London. The overall winner will receive £40,000, while each shortlisted author will receive £4,000.
Wolfson History Prize 2018 shortlist
Robert Bickers, Out of China: How the Chinese Ended the Era of Western Domination (published by Allen Lane, Penguin Press)
Lindsey Fitzharris, The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest To Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine (published by Allen Lane, Penguin Press)
Tim Grady, A Deadly Legacy: German Jews and the Great War (published by Yale University Press)
Miranda Kaufmann, Black Tudors: The Untold Story (published by Oneworld)
Peter Marshall, Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation (published by Yale University Press)
Jan Rüger, Heligoland: Britain, Germany and the Struggle for the North Sea (published by Oxford University Press)
You can listen to interviews with the winners of the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 prizes on our History Extra podcast here.