The Whitfield Book Prize has become one of the most sought after book prizes for early career historians. It was established by the Royal Historical Society in 1976 at the bequest of Professor Archibald Stenton Whitfield, who was a Fellow of the Society from June 1916 until his death in 1974. The prize offers an annual award of £1,000 for a work on British or Irish history that is the author’s first sole book publication.
The Whitfield Prize for 2020 was awarded to Niamh Gallagher for Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History (Bloomsbury, 2020).
“This is a bold and indeed audacious intervention in the historiography of Irish Catholic involvement in British and Allied action during the Great War. Niamh Gallagher’s sophisticated interpretation of the Home Front in towns across Ireland enables us to appreciate the ways in which individuals, families, businesses, civic and political leaders, and their supporters, understood Allied war aims and the reasons for contributing and remembering. Richly detailed and illustrated throughout, this is an unusually substantial contribution to the social and political history of Ireland and Irish communities abroad.”
To be eligible for the prize the book must:
- be its author’s first solely written history book;
- be on a subject within a field of 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 2021. Only printed and e-books bearing a 2021 copyright date are eligible for consideration in the current round. Books issued by publishers in the final weeks of 2021 which bear a copyright date of 2021 will be eligible for nomination in 2021.
Books focused on Atlantic World, British imperial, and trans-national contexts for British and Irish history should be entered for the Gladstone Prize. The Chair of the Whitfield Prize Committee will make the final decision as to the eligibility of each submitted volume. The Chairs of the Whitfield Prize Committee and the Gladstone 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 2021. 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 of our round for books published in 2020 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: firstname.lastname@example.org