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Shortlist announced for 2017 Wolfson History Prize

The Wolfson History Prize has announced a shortlist for the first time in its 45-year history…

Published: April 3, 2017 at 3:05 pm
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The Wolfson History Prize, which celebrates the best in accessible scholarly writing, has announced a shortlist for the first time in its 45-year history.


First awarded in 1972, the prize is awarded annually to authors who excel in writing readable and scholarly history, suitable for a general audience. Past recipients of the prize have included Ian Kershaw, Martin Gilbert and Mary Beard. 

“Together they exhibit a wonderful range of period, place and type of history,” said Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of the foundation. “But they are united by their brilliance, combining the highest scholarly standards with a lucid readability.”

The decision to announce a shortlist is reflective of the range and quality of history being produced in the UK today, Paul explained, adding: “We hope that the shortlist will shine a light on even more books, and also encourage debate about what makes brilliant, accessible history.”

Read our interviews with the shortlisted authors here.

Wolfson History Prize 2017 shortlist 

Daniel Beer, The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars

Published by Allen Lane

Chris Given-Wilson, Henry IV

Published by Yale University Press

Christopher de Hamel, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts

Published by Allen Lane

Sasha Handley, Sleep in Early Modern England

Published by Yale University Press

Lyndal Roper, Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet

Published by The Bodley Head

Matthew Strickland, Henry the Young King, 1155–1183

Published by Yale University Press

The judges for the Wolfson History Prize 2017 are Sir David Cannadine (Chairman), Sir Richard Evans, Professor Julia Smith and Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch.

The overall winner will be revealed on Monday 15 May and will receive £40,000, while each author shortlisted for this year’s prize will receive £4,000.

You can listen to interviews with the winners of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 prizes on our History Extra podcast here.


You can read more about the Wolfson History Prize here.


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