Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

Logo for Walter Scott PrizeI am stealing an idea from Helen of She Reads Novels, who has a page devoted to the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. She is attempting to read all the novels nominated for the prize since 2010. Since I am always looking for good historical fiction and I have already read several of the nominees and winners, I thought I would try to do the same. You can find more information about the prize on the Walter Scott Prize website.

Here are the lists of nominees, showing the winners in purple (if linked) or red (if not). I have linked to my existing reviews in the title, and I am also including links to Helen’s reviews. I will continue to update the links on that page as I finish the books.

Cover for Wolf Hall2010

Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds
Lustrum (American title: Conspirata) by Robert Harris (She Reads Novels review)
Wolf Hall by Hillary Mantel (She Reads Novels review)
The Glass Room by Simon Mawer
Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears (She Reads Novels review)
Hodd by Adam Thorpe

Cover for The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet2011

The Long Song by Andrea Levy (She Reads Novels review)
C by Thomas McCarthy
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Ghost Light by Joseph O’Connor (She Reads Novels review)
Heartstone by C. J. Sansome (She Reads Novels review)
To Kill a Tsar by Andrew Williams

Cover for The Sisters Brothers2012

On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry (She Reads Novels review)
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (She Reads Novels review)
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst
Pure by Andrew Miller (She Reads Novels review)
The Quality of Mercy by Barry Unsworth

Cover of Bring Up the Bodies2013

Toby’s Room by Pat Barker
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (She Reads Novels review)
The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Kenneally (She Reads Novels review)
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel (She Reads Novels review)
The Streets by Anthony Quinn (She Reads Novels review)
Merivel: A Man of His Time by Rose Tremain (She Reads Novels review)

Cover for Life After Life2014

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (She Reads Novels review)
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (She Reads Novels review)
Harvest by Jim Crace (She Reads Novels review)
Fair Helen by Andrew Greig (She Reads Novels review)
An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (She Reads Novels review)
The Promise by Ann Weisgarber

Cover for Viper Wine2015

Zone of Interest by Martin Amis
The Lie by Helen Dunmore (She Reads Novels review)
Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre
In the Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds
Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut (She Reads Novels review)
A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie (She Reads Novels review)
The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling

Cover for Sweet Caress2016

Sweet Caress by William Boyd
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale (She Reads Novels review)
Mrs Engels by Gavin McCrea (She Reads Novels review)
End Games in Bordeaux by Allan Massie
Tightrope by Simon Mawer
Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar (She Reads Novels review)

Cover for A Country Road, A Tree2017

A Country Road, A Tree by Jo Baker
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (She Reads Novels review)
The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson
The Good People by Hannah Kent (She Reads Novels review)
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (She Reads Novels review)
Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift (She Reads Novels review)
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain (She Reads Novels review)

Cover for Manhattan Beach2018

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Sugar Money by Jane Harris (She Reads Novels review)
Grace by Paul Lynch
The Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath
Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malik
The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers


A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey
After the Party by Cressida Connolly (She Reads Novels review)
The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey (She Reads Novels review) 
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller (She Reads Novels review)
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
The Long Take by Robin Robertson


The Parisian by Isabella Hammad
The Narrow Land by Christine Dwyer Hickey
To Calais, in Ordinary Time by James Meek (She Reads Novels Review)
Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor (She Reads Novels Review)
The Redeemed by Tim Pears
A Sin of Omission by Marguerite Poland


The Tolstoy Estate by Stephen Conte
A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (She Reads Novels Review)
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (She Reads Novels Review)
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams


Rose Nicolson by Andrew Greig (She Reads Novels Review)
News of the Dead by James Robertson
Fortune by Amanda Smyth (She Reads Novels Review)
The Magician by Colm Tóibín (She Reads Novels Review)


These Days by Lucy Caldwell (She Reads Novels Review)
The Geometer Lobachevsky by Adrian Duncan
Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris (She Reads Novels Review)
The Chosen by Elizabeth Lowry
The Sun Walks Down by Fiona McFarlane (She Reads Novels Review)
Ancestry by Simon Mawer
I’m Not Your Eve by Devika Ponnanbalam

6 thoughts on “Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

  1. I’ve been working my way through the WS shortlists as well – I’ve found some fabulous historical fiction. Loved Sugar Money from this year’s list.

  2. I borrowed To Calais….from my library but could not find the interest to finish it. I kept thinking I was missing something. The characters never really came alive for me. Maybe the wrong time for this novel. I was disappointed as love anything written about this time and place.

    This is a fabulous project and having only read only a few of the shortlist overall I follow your reviews with interest.

    1. I agree that the characterization left much to be desired. I have found that reading the shortlist has lead me to read quite a few really good books that I probably wouldn’t have come across otherwise.

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