Hollis wins Biographers Club prize

Hollis wins Biographers Club prize

Matthew Hollis’ biography of First World War poet Edward Thomas has won the HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize, taking home £5,000.

Now All Roads Lead to France: The Last Years of Edward Thomas (Faber) was crowned at The Biographers’ Club Prize Dinner 2011 last night (25th October).

Judge Michael Prodger said the book is "not just an account of one of the First World War’s less starry poets but of two worlds". He said: "The first is the febrile poetry world of the time . . . the second is the world of creativity inside Thomas' head and just how the poems came about and were crafted. Hollis depicts both with extraordinary insight and in prose that is in the very best sense poetic."

The winner of the £2,000 Tony Lothian Prize, for the best proposal by an unpublished, first-time biographer was Jane Gordon-Cumming for The American Heiress and the Scottish Rake: The True Story of the Royal Baccarat Scandal, about her grandparents and “a famous scandal at the card table”.

The Services to Biography Award was presented to Selina Hastings, author of titles including The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham, and books about Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh.