Whitfield Prize

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 Society is delighted to announce the award of the Whitfield Prize for 2018 to Brian N Hall for Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914-1918, Cambridge University Press (2017)

The judges commented:

Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914-1918 is a landmark of First World War scholarship. Drawing on an impressive range of primary sources, the book is a compelling piece of historical exposition. It draws attention to an aspect of warfare that is vitally important and yet curiously neglected in the existing literature – the extent to which the participants know what is going on, and the methods they use to try to find out. A wide range of historians will be obliged to take note of this book’s lessons.


The proxime accessit is Edward J GillinThe Victorian Palace of Science: Scientific Knowledge and the Building of the Houses of Parliament, Cambridge University Press (2017).

The judges commented:

The Victorian Palace of Science is a highly original book which throws intriguing new light on the connections between architecture, science and politics in the nineteenth century. The topic has considerable present-day resonance, given the physical problems currently facing the Palace of Westminster. This is a fascinating work; its readers will not look at this iconic building in the same way again.


2019 Whitfield Prize

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 2018.

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

Past Whitfield prize winners

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Imogen Evans, at: adminsecretary@royalhistsoc.org