The Gladstone Book Prize – Guidelines

“History is among the most potent and effective of all the instruments of human education. It introduces us to forms of thought and action which are infinitely diversified.” (Gladstone’s Rectorial Address at the University of Glasgow, 1879).

The Royal Historical Society offers annually the Gladstone History Book Prize (value £1,000) for the best first book in non-British history. The prize has been made possible by a generous grant from the Gladstone Memorial Trust and was first awarded in 1998, the centenary of Gladstone’s death.

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 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 2020.

Only printed and e-books bearing a 2020 copyright date are eligible for consideration in the current round. Books issued by publishers in the final weeks of 2020 which bear a copyright date of 2020 will be eligible for nomination in 2020.

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 Whitfield 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.

Publishers are invited to nominate their books. (Please note authors cannot submit their own work.)

The publisher should complete the Entry Form and submit one copy (non-returnable) of the eligible book by 31 December 2020. Books should be sent to the Administrative Secretary, Royal Historical Society, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT.

Should the book be short-listed, two further copies will be required.

The prize-winner will be announced at the Society’s Annual Reception in July 2021.

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

Submit entry