RHS Whitfield Book Prize, 2021 shortlist announced

17 May 2021

The six shortlisted titles for this year’s RHS Whitfield Prize have been announced. The Prize offers £1,000 to the author of a work of British or Irish history.

The 2021 shortlist recognises the scholarly contribution and quality of six excellent history monographs published in 2020.


  • England’s Northern Frontier: Conflict and Local Society in the Fifteenth-Century Scottish Marches  by Jackson W. Armstrong (Cambridge University Press)
  • History and the Written Word: Documents, Literacy, and Language in the Age of the Angevins  by Henry Bainton (University of Pennsylvania Press)
  • Masculinity and Danger on the Eighteenth-Century Grand Tour by Sarah Goldsmith (University of London Press)
  • The Intelligence War against the IRA  by Thomas Leahy (Cambridge University Press)
  • Irish Women and the Great War  by Fionnuala Walsh  (Cambridge University Press)
  • The Making of an Imperial Polity: Civility and America in the Jacobean Metropolis  by Lauren Working (Cambridge University Press)


Once again, the Whitfield Prize competition attracted a large number of excellent entries, presenting the judges with something of an embarrassment of riches. Engagingly written, compellingly argued and deeply researched, the six shortlisted books demonstrate the vibrancy and intellectual ambition of today’s work on British and Irish history.

 – Professor Paul Readman, Whitfield Prize Committee Chair


The winner of the 2021 RHS Whitfield Prize will be announced in July, together with the winner of the RHS Gladstone Prize 2021, for a first book not primarily related to the history of Britain and Ireland.

About the RHS Whitfield Prize and its previous winners, 1977-2020.