Gladstone Prize

In honour of the value William 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

2019 Winner

The Gladstone Prize for 2019 was awarded to Duncan Hardy for a volume Associative Political Culture in the Holy Roman Empire: Upper Germany, 1346-1521 (Oxford University Press: 2018).

Judges’ citation:

This is an outstanding first book and it deserves the highest of praise. Hardy builds an ambitious and convincing thesis about the structure and workings of the Holy Roman Empire in the late medieval period, arguing that it is best understood in terms of various forms of political association. This is a significant and original contribution to the historiography of the period and region. It encourages scholars to consider sixteenth-century Germany not only through the lens of the Reformation but in terms of underlying late-medieval political structures and practices. The writing is clear and precise throughout, and the author reveals a deep knowledge of the archival sources. The organisation of the book allows its argument to build steadily, and the high quality of the writing and analysis is sustained from start to finish (it also has a gorgeous front cover). Associative political culture fills a gap in the existing literature and deserves to be very widely read.

Entries are now open for the 2020 Gladstone Prize (to be awarded in July 2020 for a book published in 2019).

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 2019.

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 2019

Past Gladstone prize winners

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Imogen Evans, at: