Shortlist announced for the 2018 Wolfson History Prize

16 Apr 2018

The list of books shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize 2018 has today been announced. 

Established in 1972, the Wolfson History Prize aims to recognise and reward the best historical writing produced in the UK. The annual prize of £40,000 is awarded to the author whose book is judged to best combine readability and excellence in research. 

The shortlist was selected by a panel of four eminent historians and Fellows of the British Academy. Expert in Islamic history, Professor Carole Hillenbrand joined the judging panel this year alongside President of the British Academy Professor Sir David Cannadine (Chair), Professor Sir Richard Evans and Revd Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch.


The six shortlisted books are: 

Out of China: How the Chinese Ended the Era of Western Domination by Robert Bickers
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris
A Deadly Legacy: German Jews and the Great War by Tim Grady
Black Tudors: The Untold Story by Miranda Kaufmann
Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation by Peter Marshall
Heligoland: Britain, Germany and the Struggle for the North Sea by Jan Rüger

Awarded annually for over forty years by a panel of distinguished historians, the Wolfson History Prize has become synonymous with celebrating outstanding history.

Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Professor Sir David Cannadine said: 

“This year’s shortlist is a testament to the strength of writing on history in the UK today. It brings together established academics with first time writers, spanning a huge variety of times and places. What unites the authors is a commitment to share careful research and a deep love of their subject with as wide an audience as possible. As judges we found ourselves engrossed, challenged, and delighted by our reading. It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the shortlist for 2018.”

The British Academy, Wolfson Foundation and BBC Radio 3 are staging a special event on Wednesday 9 May between 7pm and 8.30pm, when all of the shortlisted authors will be discussing their books – and the importance of history – with Rana Mitter, presenter of Free Thinking on BBC Radio 3.

The event is being recorded for broadcast by BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking programme.

There is still availability for this free event. To book tickets, please visit the BBC Radio 3 ‘Free Thinking’ recording: The Wolfson History Prize page.

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For further information contact the Press Office on [email protected]  / 07500 010 432.

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