Gladstone Prize

Boys playing Kotoro, Kusakabe Kimbei c.1890s

In honour of the value Gladstone placed on the study of history, the Gladstone Memorial Trust made it possible for the RHS to launch the Gladstone History book prize in 1998 on the centenary of Gladstone’s death. The prize offers an annual award of £1,000 for a work of history on a topic not primarily related to British history that is the author’s first sole book publication.


Donation in support of the Gladstone Prize

Whitfield and Gladstone prize shortlists. READ MOREThe RHS is very pleased to announce that the Linbury Trust has made a donation of £12,500 over five years from 2015 in support of the Gladstone Prize. Many thanks indeed for this generous gift.

Read more about how you can support the RHS


The RHS is delighted to announce that the Gladstone Prize for 2017 has been awarded to Claire Eldridge for From Empire to Exile: History and Memory within the pied-noir and harki communities, 1962-2012 (Manchester University Press, 2016).

The judges commented:

This remarkable book sheds new light on the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62) by focusing on the ‘commemorative afterlives’ of the conflict. Of central significance are the tens of thousands of harkis (native auxiliaries of the French army) and the million or so pieds noirs (French settlers), who relocated to France in the wake of the conflict. In a deeply researched and extremely well written book, Claire Eldridge reconceptualizes the ways in which the Algerian War has been remembered and commemorated in France. Eldridge breaks new ground in her exciting analysis of memory as the ‘agency-driven, interactive creation’ of multi-vocal, competing representations of the conflict and all that it meant. Dismissing the long held public view that this was a ‘forgotten war’ Eldridge has written one of the most important studies of the effects of decolonization on the former colonial power. It is a worthy winner of the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone Prize for 2017.”

The proxime accessit is Oren Margolis for The Politics of Culture in Quattrocento Europe: Rene of Anjou in Italy (Oxford University Press, 2016).

The judges commented:

This is a fascinating study of René of Anjou, an exiled ruler without a kingdom. Utilizing network analysis to excellent effect, Margolis has written a sophisticated study of René’s development of Italian networks, all designed to help him return to power. Margolis demonstrates how such cultural products as illuminated manuscripts and Latin orations functioned as the means of cultural diplomacy between members of what he terms the ‘hyper-literate’ elite. Communication is thus seen to transcend the literary objects upon which it is based, allowing a heightened communication with real political intent. This is a sophisticated and subtle study of the politics of Angevin cultural networks.”

You can read the shortlist for the 2017 prize here.

Andrew Arsan, winner of the 2015 Gladstone Prize, discusses what the prize means to him and wider international history.

2018 Gladstone Prize

To be eligible for the prize the book must:

  • be its author’s first solely written history book;
  • be on any historical subject not primarily related to British history;
  • be an original and scholarly work of historical research by an author who received their doctoral degree from a British or Irish university;
  • have been published in English during the calendar year 2017.

Publishers are invited to nominate their books. (Please note authors cannot submit their own work.) For further information on how to enter, please refer to the Guidelines.

Closing date for entries: 31 December 2017

Past Gladstone prize winners

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Melanie Ransom, at: m.ransom@royalhistsoc.org