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.

Gladstone Book Prize Winner, 2022

Image of slide Dr Emily Bridger's book Young Women Against Apartheid (Boydell and Brewer Press, 2021) announced Winner of the 2022 Gladstone Prize.

Many congratulations to Dr Emily Bridger whose book Young Women Against Apartheid. Gender, Youth and South Africa’s Liberation Struggle (Boydell & Brewer, 2021) was announced as this year’s winner on 22 July. The Gladstone Prize judges praised:

a superb intervention in the history of modern South Africa … notable for the way it avoids sealing activism off as a discrete area of behaviour and instead shows how political protest was embedded in the complex and varied fabric of the protagonists’ lives. Original, analytically sophisticated and a pleasure to read.

Details of all recipients and runners-up for the 2022 Prizes and Awards, including Emily’s acceptance speech, are available here.

Eligibility for the Gladstone Book Prize, 2023

Submissions for the 2023 Prize will be accepted from publishers from 1 September 2022. To be eligible for consideration for the prize, the book 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 2022 (for the 2023 award).

Only printed and e-books bearing a 2022 copyright date are eligible for consideration in the current round. Books issued by publishers in the final weeks of 2022, which bear a copyright date of 2023, will be eligible for nomination in the 2023 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.

Notes for submitting to the Gladstone Book Prize, 2023

  • Publishers are invited to nominate books published in 2022 for the 2023 award. (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.
  • Publishers are asked to ensure submissions comply with the eligibility requirements. Any questions may be sent to:

Timetable for submissions

  • Submissions for the 2023 Prize open: 1 September 2022. All submissions are via the RHS Prize Applications Portal.
  • Closing date for entries for the 2023 Prize: 31 December 2022.

To complete the submission per title, publishers are required submit one copy (non-returnable) of the eligible book by 31 December 2022. 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.

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the RHS. Please contact the Membership and Administration Officer at:

List of previous Gladstone Book Prize Winners