Polari First Book Prize swells longlist
The 2014 Polari First Book ...
Three debuts up for Scottish crime prize
The shortlist for the third...
Inaugural MMU novella award goes to artist tale
An English teacher has won ...
Lette: women 'written off' by Man Booker judges
Author Kathy Lette has accu...
Man Booker longlist: 'flexibility needed' on pub dates
Ion Trewin, literary direct...
Tomalin, Penn win Biographers' Club prizes
14.11.12 | Charlotte Williams
Winter King by Thomas Penn, published by Penguin, has won this year's £5,000 Biographers' Club HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize, with fellow Penguin author Claire Tomalin presented with the Lifetime Services to Biography Award.
Meanwhile, Jane Willis won the £2,000 Tony Lothian Prize for Marguerite, Byron and the Literary Factory, with the award for the best proposal by an uncommissioned, first-time biographer. Judge Michael Crick praised her "intimate and candid portrait of a nineteenth-century literary maverick . . . Elegantly written with warmth and intelligence, Jane Willis's book has strong literary and commercial appeal."
Penn's debut was chosen from a total of 47 entries and a shortlist of five, with judge David Sexton, literary editor of the Evening Standard, saying: "Winter King is a masterful narrative of the reign of Henry VII . . . Thomas Penn tells the alarming story of this chilly monarch not just with impressive scholarship but with rare artistry, constantly switching perspectives and zooming in on details in a way that makes this biography read as compellingly as a great novel."
Tomalin was presented with the lifetime achievement award, with her books including Charles Dickens: A Life; Thomas Hardy: The Time-Torn Man; Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self, and Jane Austen: A Life.
The Biographers' Club presented the prizes at a dinner at the Savile Club in London, with John Sutherland, UCL Emeritus Lord Northcliffe professor of modern English Literature making the after dinner speech.