The Wolfson History Prize is awarded annually by the Wolfson Foundation to promote and recognise outstanding history written for a general audience. First awarded in 1972, it remains a beacon of the best historical writing being produced in the UK, reflecting qualities of both readability and excellence in writing and research.
Books are judged on the extent to which they are carefully researched, well-written and accessible to the non-specialist reader.
A shortlist of six books is announced in spring, followed by one overall winner in early summer. The Wolfson History Prize is the most valuable non-fiction writing prize in the UK, with the winner receiving a total prize of £40,000, and the shortlisted authors receiving £4,000 each.
The 2020 shortlist was announced on 28th April, recognising the best factual history writing from the past year.
Marion Turner's CHAUCHER: A European Life (Princeton University Press) and Prashant Kidmabi's CRICKET COUNTRY: An Indian Odyssey in the Age of Empire (Oxford University Press) are among the shortlisted titles.
The full shortlist is available here.
Judges' comments on CRICKET COUNTRY: “A superbly executed social history that defies the usual boundaries of the ‘history of sport’ genre to tell a story of empire and identity at the start of the 20th century.”
Judges' comments on CHAUCER: “A quite exceptional biography that with imaginative insight and stylish wit, sets one of the most significant figures in English literary history firmly in a European context.”
The winner will be announced on Monday 15 June 2020 in a virtual ceremony.
Marion Turner is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Oxford, where she is a Tutorial Fellow of Jesus College.
Prashant Kidambi is Associate Professor of Colonial Urban History at the University of Leicester.