The shortlist for the inaugural Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction has been announced, comprising seven novels with settings ranging from ancient Rome to pre-war Czechoslovakia. The winner will be announced in June at the Borders Book Festival and will receive £25,000, making it the biggest UK literary prize to be judged outside London.
The shortlist is:
Hodd by Adam Thorpe
Lustrum by Robert Harris
Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The strength and breadth of entries for the first year of the prize indicates a growing appetite for historical fiction in direct contrast to a waning of the study of history, said the Chair of Judges Alistair Moffat.
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency which is funding the Borders Book Festival for the third consecutive year, said: “Scotland already has a strong reputation around the world for hosting sensational cultural events. We also have a long and hugely successful literary history.
“The Borders Book Festival has, over the years, put the Scottish Borders on the map with book lovers, authors, editors and publishers across the UK and the world and the addition of the Walter Scott Prize will ensure it continues to attract big names in the industry. The prize will also ensure that Scotland continues to receive its share of the cultural events spotlight and will reinforce the nation’s reputation for breaking new ground in the industry.”