Gladstone Prize

Boys playing Kotoro, Kusakabe Kimbei c.1890s

The RHS is delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2017 Gladstone Prize. You can read the shortlist here.

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 Gladstone Prize for 2016 was awarded to Emma Hunter for Political Thought and the Public Sphere in Tanzania (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

The judges commented:

This sophisticated book is surely at the vanguard of a new way of writing intellectual history. It builds a history of ideas ‘from below’ by working from Swahili language newspapers and other texts in circulation in Tanganyika and from archives in Tanzania and elsewhere. Tanzanians become political thinkers and agents in the transformation of key mid-twentieth century concepts such as freedom, progress, democracy, representation and citizenship. The changing senses of a ‘word in motion’ gesture to the changing possibilities open to Hunter’s agents as decolonization took root. Hunter takes seriously prior forms of political organisation and so never sees Africa as pre-political, nor does she see the rise of single-partyism as a straight story. Instead she places Africa at the heart of the widest canvas of international and world history. The way Hunter’s focus moves between the microscopic conditions of localities far from any metropolis to the biggest questions of the twentieth century history, such as the theory and practice of democracy, is deeply admirable.”

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