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 2019 was awarded to Ryan Hanley for Beyond Slavery and Abolition: Black British Writing, c.1770-1830 (Cambridge University Press: 2018).
The judges commented:
This year’s submissions for the Whitfield Award featured rigorous and innovative works of historical research, many of which will endure among classic studies in their fields. Ryan Hanley’s superb study, Beyond Slavery and Abolition: Black British Writing, c.1770-1830, stands apart for its audacious engagement with debates on the cultural positioning of black participants in British literary, political, and intellectual culture during a transitional period in British domestic and imperial history. Hanley’s rich and lively examination shows that black authors engaged in a comprehensive range of topics, from legal debates, the nature of celebrity, religious controversy, spiritual memoir, radical politics, to epistemology – extending far beyond the abolitionist paradigm that historians have long assumed and thus have tended to impose.
Entries for the 2020 Whitfield Prize are now open.
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 2019.
Publishers are invited to nominate their books. (Please note authors cannot submit their own work.) For further information on how to enter, including the entry form, please refer to the Guidelines.
Closing date for entries: 31 December 2019 (for award in July 2020).
All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Imogen Evans, at: firstname.lastname@example.org