Five unpublished biographies in contention for £2,000 prize

Five unpublished biographies in contention for £2,000 prize

The Biographers' Club has revealed the shortlist for the 2016 Tony Lothian Prize, which awards £2,000 to the best proposal for an uncommissioned first biography.

In contention for the prize are Lady Spitfire by John Jenkins, an account of the life of Poppy Radmall, a one-time chorus girl who played a "crucial" role in saving her country from the Nazis, Thirst by Judy O'Kane, a journey into wine, and an exploration of terroir - wine's sense of place, and Noble Savages, the story of the four Olivier sisters by Sarah Watling.

Also up for the prize are The Last Humanist: The Life and Passions of Alex Comfort by Eric Laursen, a look into the author of The Joy of Sex (Mitchell Beazley), and A Woman of Ideas: Lady Anne Bacon 1528 - 1610, a look into a "formidable "16th-century woman who was embedded in the network of power at the heart of the Tudor court by Deborah Spring.

Judging the prize will be Richard Davenport-Hines, Flora Fraser and Ysenda Maxtone Graham. Their winner will be announced at the Biographers' Club Prize Dinner on Tuesday 15th November, when the winner of the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize (£3,500) will also be announced, and when Hilary Spurling will receive the Club's Lifetime Achievement award.

The Tony Lothian Prize is sponsored by the Duchess of Buccleuch in memory of her mother, Antonella, Marchioness of Lothian, OBE (1922-2007). The 2015 winner was Square Haunting by Francesca Wade, later signed by Faber.