Philip Ziegler has won the £5,000 Elizabeth Longford prize for his "moving" biography of Edward Heath.
Zeigler's Edward Heath—The Authorised Biography was described as a "fully rounded, compelling and ultimately moving portrait of a flawed but impressive personality" by judges of the prize—which will be presented on 14th June at The Authors' Awards, hosted by the Society of Authors at the Cavalry and Guards Club in Piccadilly, central London.
Ziegler, an 82-year-old former Foreign Service employee, has also written biographies on William IV, Lord Melbourne, Lady Diana Cooper, Lord Mountbatten, King Edward VIII, Harold Wilson, Rupert Hart-Davis and Osbert Sitwell.
Members of the judging panel included Lady Antonia Fraser, Flora Fraser, David Gilmour, Munro Price and Professor Roy Foster.
In a joint statement, they said: "The judges were particularly struck by the manner in which Philip Ziegler approached a subject which might seem initially lacking in human warmth, and even off-putting; his achievement has been to create a fully rounded, compelling and ultimately moving portrait of a flawed but impressive personality as well as of a major and often forward-looking politician.
"This was done through sensitive use of oral evidence and personal testimony and a wide and scholarly trawl through many archives, and also by a very distinguished literary style—sharp, engrossing, graceful and consummately blending irony with sympathy. It is a master-class in political biography."
The prize is sponsored by Flora Fraser and Peter Soros in memory of acclaimed biographer Elizabeth Longford and will be presented by Lady Antonia Fraser, one of the judging panel. Other prizes at the ceremony will be presented by author Joanna Trollope.