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 Shortlist, 2023

Six books have been shortlisted for the RHS Gladstone Prize, 2023. Full details are available here, with this year’s winner to be announced on Friday 21 July.

Gladstone Prize Winner, 2022

Congratulations to Dr Emily Bridger whose book Young Women Against Apartheid. Gender, Youth and South Africa’s Liberation Struggle (Boydell & Brewer, 2021) was announced in July as the 2022 winner.

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

Gladstone Book Prize, 2024

Submissions for the 2023 Prize have now closed (31 December 2022).  Applications for the 2024 Prize will open in September. 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 2023 (for the 2024 award).

Only printed and e-books bearing a 2023 copyright date are eligible for consideration in the current round. Books issued by publishers in the final weeks of 2023, which bear a copyright date of 2024, will be eligible for nomination in the 2024 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, 2024

  • 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 2023. 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

Timetable for submission to the Gladstone Prize, 2024

  • Submissions for the 2023 Prize open: 1 September 2023. All submissions are via the RHS Prize Applications Portal.
  • 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:

A list of previous winners of the Gladstone Book Prize (1997-2022) is available here.