Gladstone Book Prize

Mirror of Portraits of All Sovereigns in the World (Sejō kakkoku shaga teiō kagami), 1879, Yōshū (Hashimoto) Chikanobu, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, public domain


The Gladstone Book Prize was launched in 1998 following a founding donation from the Gladstone Memorial Trust on the centenary of William 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. In 2015, the Linbury Trust made a generous donation of £12,500 in support of the Gladstone Prize.

Applications for the 2024 Gladstone Prize, from publishers, have now closed (31 December 2023). Please see below on the timetable for the 2024 Gladstone Prize and that for 2025 for which applications are invited from September 2024.

Gladstone Prize Winner, 2023

Congratulations to Dr Jennifer Keating whose book On Arid Ground: Political Ecologies of Empire in Russian Central Asia (OUP, 2022) was announced as the 2023 winner on 6 July.

Judges’ citation:

Jennifer Keating’s On Arid Ground is a path-breaking study of the way empire and environment interacted in Central Asia through the 19th and early 20th centuries.

This book innovates on a number of fronts, not least by showing the importance of ecology and environment in forcing the Russian Empire to adapt its long-term geopolitical strategy. It significantly changes the way we think of Russian Empire-building and outlines a fascinating picture of land reclamation, settlement and commodity development, while often putting to the fore actors beyond the human, from sandstorms to termites.

Inspiring and important, it will be influential for historians working on other imperial contexts, and above all for our thinking about environment and human social and political organisation today.

Timetable for the Gladstone Prize, 2024

  • Submissions for the 2023 Prize open: 1 September 2023
  • Closing date for entries for the 2023 Prize: 31 December 2023
  • Shortlist for the 2023 Prize announced: May / June 2024
  • Winner of the 2023 Prize announced: July 2024

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the RHS. Please contact:

Gladstone Book Prize, 2025

Submissions for the 2025 Prize, from publishers, will be accepted from 1 September 2024 prior to the closing date of 31 December 2024. Further details of the 2025 Gladstone Prize will be announced in due course. To be eligible for consideration for the prize, the nominated title must:

  • be its author’s first solely written history book;
  • be on any historical subject that is not primarily related to British or Irish 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 2024 (for the 2025 award).

Only printed and e-books bearing a 2024 copyright date are eligible for consideration in the current round. Books issued by publishers in the final weeks of 2024, which bear a copyright date of 2025, will be eligible for nomination in the 2025 awards.

Books nominated for the Gladstone Prize may include those which focus on Atlantic World, British Imperial, and trans-national contexts for British and Irish history. However, books focused on all other aspects of British and Irish history should be entered for the Society’s Whitfield Book Prize. The Chair of the Gladstone Prize Committee will make the final decision as to the eligibility of each submitted volume. The Chairs of the Gladstone Prize Committee and the Whitfield Prize Committee will together decide which competition is most appropriate for any books falling between the criteria for each prize.

Submitting to the Gladstone Book Prize, 2025

  • Publishers are invited to nominate books. (Please note: authors cannot submit their own work.) However, we also ask that colleagues encourage early career historians, across the HE sector, to propose their work for submission by a publisher. This is especially encouraged for early career historians from under-represented groups.
  • The RHS welcomes eligible submissions from the widest possible range of publishers: this includes university presses, commercial publishers of all scales, and non-UK publishers when publishing the first scholarly work by a historian with a doctorate from a UK or Irish university
  • A maximum of 4 books may be submitted by any publisher. In selecting your nominations, publishers are asked to follow the Society’s recommendations in our 2018 reports on Race, Ethnicity & Equality and Gender Equality: books submitted should reflect the diversity of those working in the discipline and of their chosen areas of research.
  • To complete the submission per title, publishers are required submit one copy (non-returnable) of the eligible book by 31 December 2024. Books should be sent to the: Membership and Office Administrator, Royal Historical Society, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT. Should the book be short-listed, two further copies will be required.
  • Publishers are asked to ensure submissions comply with the eligibility requirements. Any questions may be sent to:, marked Gladstone Prize

A list of previous winners of the Gladstone Book Prize (1997-2023) is available here.