Andrew Roberts wins the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography 2022

We are thrilled to announce that GEORGE III: THE LIFE AND REIGN OF BRITAIN’S MOST MISUNDERSTOOD MONARCH by Andrew Roberts is the winner of the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography 2022.

The Prize was founded in 2003 in memory of the acclaimed biographer Elizabeth Longford by her granddaughter Flora Fraser, Chair of the Prize, and Peter Soros, Patron of the prize. It is awarded annually for a historical biography which, like Elizabeth Longford’s work, combines scholarship and narrative drive.

The judges, all of whom are distinguished historical biographers and historians, this year included Professor Roy Foster (Chair), Antonia Fraser, Chair Emerita and daughter of Elizabeth Longford, Flora Fraser, Richard Davenport-Hines and Professor Rana Mitter.

Of Andrew Roberts’ GEORGE III, Chair of Judges Roy Foster wrote: ‘"Royal biography’ is an often-maligned genre, but Elizabeth Longford showed how it could be done with literary flair, empathy and a magisterial grasp of the temper of the times. Andrew Roberts’s George III is firmly in this tradition. He robustly grapples with the key crises of the reign, notably the American Revolution and the French wars, painstakingly tracking the monarch’s close control of governmental and political decision-making. But he also makes a powerful case for George’s carefully calibrated sense of royal responsibility and its limits. The portrait that emerges is unexpected, sympathetic and tragically shadowed by mental illness - one of the many subjects authoritatively reinterpreted in a book which, while grand in scale, is written with the author’s characteristic brio and full of surprises. In a strong and varied field of contenders, the judges awarded the 2022 Prize to Roberts’s study of ‘Britain’s most misunderstood monarch’ for its combination of archival research, historical acumen, psychological insight and unfailing readability: the keynotes of historical biography as practised by Elizabeth Longford."