The Wolfson History Prizes are given annually by the Wolfson Foundation. Usually two books are awarded the prize, but occasionally a sort of lifetime achievement award is given for an author's body of work. The prize was established in 1972 to promote excellence in the writing of history that is accessible to the general public. For a book to be considered for the prize, it must be published in the United Kingdom by a British author. The awards are granted in the summer following the year of publication.


Wolfson History Prize (2009)

The winners of the prizes in 2009, awarded at a lunch on 16 June 2010, were:

Jonathan Sumption for Divided Houses: The Hundred Years War (Vol 3) (Faber & Faber)

Professor Dominic Lieven for Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807-1814 (Allen Lane: Penguin Press)

The winners received £20,000 each.

The judges were Sir Keith Thomas FBA (Chairman), Professor Dame Avril Cameron KBE FBA, Professor Richard Evans FBA and Professor Sir David Cannadine FBA.

Professor Mary Beard
Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town
(Profile Books Ltd) (£20,000)
Professor Margaret McGowan
Dance in the Renaissance: European Fashion,
French Obsession
(Yale University Press) (£20,000)

Professor John Darwin
After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire
(Allen Lane: Penguin Press) (£20,000)
Mrs Rosemary Hill
God’s Architect: Pugin & the Building of Romantic Britain
(Allen Lane: Penguin Press) (£20,000)


Dr Adam Tooze

The Wages of Destruction

(Allen Lane: Penguin Press) (£15,000)

Dr Christopher Clark

Iron Kingdom

(Allen Lane: Penguin Press) (£10,000)

Professor Vic Gatrell

City of Laughter

(Atlantic Books) (£10,000)


Professor Evelyn Welch

Shopping in the Renaissance

(Yale University Press) (£15,000)

Professor Christopher Wickham

Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400-800

(Oxford University Press) (£15,000)


Professor Christopher A Bayly For his distinguished contribution to the writing of history (£15,000)

Professor David Reynolds

In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War

(Allen Lane: Penguin Press) (£12,500)

Professor Richard Overy

The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany; Stalin’s Russia

(Allen Lane: Penguin Press) (£10,000)

Winners 1972-2004

1972 Professor Sir Michael Howard

The Grand Strategy

(HMSO) (£5,000)

Mr K (Sir Keith) Thomas

Religion and the Decline of Magic

(Weidenfeld & Nicolson) (£3,000)

1973 Dame Frances Yates

The Rosicrucian Imagination

(Routledge & Kegan Paul) (£5,000)

Professor W L Warren

Henry II

(Eyre & Spottiswoode) (£3,000)

1974 Professor Sir Moses I Finley

The Ancient Economy

(Chatto & Windus) (£5,000)

Dr Theodore Zeldin

France 18481945 Ambition, Love & Politics

(Oxford University Press) (£3,000)

1975 Lady (Frances) Donaldson

Edward VIII

(Weidenfeld & Nicolson) (£4,000)

Professor (Dame) Olwen Hufton

The Poor of Eighteenth Century France

(Oxford University Press) (£4,000)

1976 Professor Sir Nikolaus Pevsner

The History of Building Types

(Thames & Hudson) (£5,000)

Dr (Professor) Norman Stone

The Eastern Front

(Hodder & Stoughton) (£4,000)

1977 Mr Denis Mack Smith

Mussolini's Roman Empire

(Longman & Co) (£5,000)

Dr Simon Schama

Patriots and Liberators

(Collins) (£4,000)

1978 Mr H M (Sir Howard) Colvin Notable contribution to the writing of history (£7,000)

Mr (Sir) Alistair Horne

A Savage War of Peace

(Macmillan) (£5,000)

1979 Professor Richard Cobb

Death in Paris

(Oxford University Press) (£5,000)

Lady Soames

Clementine Churchill

(Cassell) (£3,500)

Professor Quentin Skinner

The Foundations of Modern Political Thought

(Cambridge University Press) (£3,500)

1980 Professor F S L Lyons

Culture and Anarchy

(Oxford University Press) (£7,000)

Dr Robert Evans

The Making of the Habsburg Monarchy

(Oxford University Press) (£5,000)

1981 Reverend Sir Owen Chadwick OM Notable contribution to the writing of history (£7,000)

Dr John Burrow

A Liberal Descent

(Cambridge University Press) (£6,000)

1982 Professor Sir Steven Runciman

Notable contribution to the writing of history (£8,000)

Professor John McManners

Death and Enlightenment

(Oxford University Press) (£5,000)

1983 Dr (Sir) Martin Gilbert

Finest Hour

(Heinemann) (£7,500)

Mr Kenneth Rose

George V

(Weidenfeld & Nicolson) (£7,500)

1984 Lady Antonia Fraser

The Weaker Vessel

(Weidenfeld & Nicolson) (£6,000)

Dr Maurice Keen


(Yale University Press) (£6,000)

1985 Mr John Grigg

Life of Lloyd George

(Methuen) (£7,000)

Dr Richard DavenportHines

Dudley Docker

(Cambridge University Press) (£7,000)

1986 Professor J H (Sir John) Elliott

The Count Duke of Olivares A Statesman in Decline

(Yale University Press) (£7,500)

Professor J Israel

European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism

(Oxford University Press) (£7,500)

1987 Professor R R Davies Conquest, Coexistence and Change Wales 10631415 (Oxford University Press) (£7,500)
Dr John Pemble The Mediterranean Passion (Oxford University Press) (£7,500)
1988 Professor Paul Kennedy The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (Unwin Hyman) (£7,500)
Professor Richard Evans Death in Hamburg (Oxford University Press) (£7,500)
l989 Professor Donald Cameron Watt How War Came (William Heinemann) (£10,000)
Mr Richard Fletcher The Quest for El Cid (Huchinson) (£10,000)
1990 Professsor Colin Platt The Architecture of Medieval Britain (Yale University Press) (£10,000)
1991 Lord Bullock Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives (Harper Collins) (£15,000)
Professor John Bossy Giordano Bruno and the Embassy Affair (Yale University Press) (£10,000)
1992 Lord Skidelsky John Maynard Keynes: the Economist as Saviour (Pan Macmillan) (£15,000)
Professor Linda Colley Britons: Forging the Nations 1707 1837 (Yale University Press) (£5,000)

1993 Miss Barbara Harvey

Living and Dying in England 11001540

(Oxford University Press) (£10,000)

Professor Robert Bartlett

The Making of Europe

(Viking) (£5,000)

1994 Ms Fiona MacCarthy

William Morris: A Life for Our Time

(Faber and Faber) (£10,000)

Professor John C G Rohl

The Kaiser and his Court: Wilhelm II and the Government of Germany

(Cambridge University Press) (£10,000)

1995 Professor H G C Matthew FBA

Gladstone 18751898

(Oxford University Press) (£15,000)

1996 Dr Orlando Figes

A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 18911924

(Jonathan Cape) (£15,000)

Professor Eric J Hobsbawm FBA For his distinguished contribution to the writing of history (£15,000)

1997 Professor John Brewer

The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the Eighteenth Century

(HarperCollins) (£10,000)

Patricia Hollis (The Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

Jennie Lee: A Life

(OUP) (£10,000)

1998 Mr Antony Beevor


(Viking) (£10,000)

Dr Amanda Vickery

The Gentleman’s Daughter

(Yale University Press) (£10,000)

1999 Lord Briggs For his distinguished contribution to the writing of history (£15,000)

Mr Andrew Roberts

Salisbury: Victorian Titan

(Weidenfeld & Nicolson) (£12,500)

Professor Joanna Bourke

An Intimate History of Killing

(Granta Books) (£10,000)

2000 Professor Ian Kershaw

Hitler, 19361945: Nemesis

(Allen Lane) (£20,000)

Professor Mark Mazower

The Balkans

(Weidenfeld & Nicolson) (£7,500)

Professor Roy Porter

Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World

(Allen Lane) (£7,500)

2001 Lord Jenkins of Hillhead For his distinguished contribution to the writing of history (£15,000)

Professor Barry Cunliffe

Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples

(Oxford University Press) (£10,000)

Professor Jerry White

London in the 20th Century: A City and Its People

(Viking) (£10,000)

2002 Professor Robert Gildea

Marianne in Chains: In search of the German Occupation 19401945

(Macmillan) (£15,000)

Mr William Dalrymple

White Mughals: Love and Betrayal in EighteenthCentury India

(HarperCollins) (£10,000)

2003 Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch

Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 14901700

(Allen Lane: Penguin Press) (£10,000)

Dr Frances Harris

Transformations of Love: The Friendship of John Evelyn and Margaret Godolphin

(Oxford University Press) (£7,500)

Professor Julian Jackson

The Fall of France: The Nazi Invasion of 1940

(Oxford University Press) (£7,500)