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The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017 The Walter Scott Prize 2017

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, founded in 2009 by its patrons the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch, is the largest annual fiction prize to be judged outside London, and honours the legacy and achievements of Sir Walter Scott, founder of the historical novel. It awards novels set in the past – for the purposes of the prize, at least sixty years ago. Winner of the first Walter Scott Prize, Hilary Mantel, described its founding as ‘much the best thing that has happened for lovers of historical fiction.'

Featured Books
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
Days Without End
Sebastian Barry
July 2017 Book of the Month. Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. Winner of 2016 Costa Book of the Year and Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2016....
Format: Paperback - Released: 06/02/2017
The Good People by Hannah Kent
The Good People
Hannah Kent
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. Three women are at the heart of this beguiling, elemental novel, in which the dialogue dances, and the force of Irish fairy lore weaves its eerie, all-consuming ways through a...
Format: Hardback - Released: 09/02/2017
The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson
The Vanishing Futurist
Charlotte Hobson
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. An exuberant, kaleidoscopic debut set in the turbulent times around the 1917 Russian revolution, told through the eyes of an eighty-year-old Englishwoman recalling her youth. It's 1914 and, against the...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/03/2017
A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker
A Country Road, A Tree
Jo Baker
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. An enthralling work of literary fiction exploring Samuel Beckett’s life in Occupied France. It’s autumn, 1939 and a young writer has returned to Paris, and to Suzanne, his...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/02/2017
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
Mothering Sunday
Graham Swift
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. From the jubilant “You shall go to the ball!” of the preface, and the “Once upon a time” opening, this glorious feminist-hued fable tells of a young woman’s transformation from...
Format: Paperback - Released: 09/03/2017
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
The Gustav Sonata
Rose Tremain
Shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017. Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2016. Profoundly moving tale of love and devotion, told in a steady, lucid style that reverberates with the latent undercurrent of suppressed, unfulfilled longings....
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
Golden Hill
Francis Spufford
Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. Inventively entertaining, niftily plotted first novel set in New York during the city’s effervescent...
Format: Paperback - Released: 29/09/2016
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The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017 winner announced!

Days Without End by Sebastian Barry_WSP

Sebastian Barry has won the eighth £25,000 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction for his epic American novel Days Without End.  Barry’s previous novel On Canaan’s Side was a winner in 2012, and he returned to the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland to receive his Prize from the Duke of Buccleuch on 17 June 2017.

Sebastian Barry said on winning the Prize: “It’s difficult to itemise my simple childish joy at receiving this prize; that the judges did all this work to make a 61 year old man feel 12 again."

The other books that were shortlisted for the award are:

A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker
The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson
The Good People by Hannah Kent
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

Walter Scott Prize Shortlist 2017

 

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The Judges commented:

“We have a longer shortlist than usual due to the variety of the longlist, and the fresh perspectives and lively debate generated by the introduction of three new judges to the panel.

Our shortlist was achieved by the judges' instinctive reaction to each book. The seven shortlisted novels, a mix of old hands and new voices, offer readers joy in the discovery of unusual subjects and times; appreciation of historical research and insight worn lightly and applied skilfully; and, perhaps most important of all, that visceral connection to the characters which is the prerequisite of every novel, whether historical or not.

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The judging panel comprised Alistair Moffat (chair), Elizabeth Buccleuch, Kate Figes, Katharine Grant, James Holloway, Elizabeth Laird, and James Naughtie. 

To qualify, books must have been published in the previous year in the UK or the Commonwealth, and be mostly set in the past - for the purposes of the Prize, at least 60 years ago.  This definition comes from the subtitle of Walter Scott’s novel Waverley; Or, ’Tis Sixty Years Since.

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Jo Baker
Sebastian Barry
Charlotte Hobson
Hannah Kent
Francis Spufford
Graham Swift
Rose Tremain

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