Gavin McCrea's Mrs Engels (Scribe) has been shortlisted for the The HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown 2016.
Mrs Engels, recently described as the "most feminist" on 2016's Desmond Elliott Prize shortlist, was shortlisted for the title of best historical fiction debut of the year last night (30th June) at this year's History In The Court event, hosted by Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court, London.
The judges said in the book, about the wife of the German philosopher Friedrich Engels, "the private lives of Marx and Engels are revealed as never before in this brilliant act of literary ventriloquism".
Joining it on the six-strong shorlist, whittled down from a longlist of 12, are contenders: Death and Mr Pickwick by Stephen Jarvis (Jonathan Cape), which the judges called a "tongue-in-cheek pastiche of the Victorian novel"; Eden Gardens by Louise Brown (Headline) "a poignant mother-and-daughter story" set in the Raj, The Hoarse Oaths of Fife by Chris Moore (Uniform Press), "a wry and moving novel about fathers and sons"; Summertime by Vanessa Lafaye (Orion), hailed an "accomplished novel of love and loss"; and Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck (Hodder), "a powerful, beautifully written gothic murder mystery in a remote area of eighteenth-century Lapland".
The HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown award and prize money of £1,000 will be presented at the Harrogate International Festivals’ 2016 Harrogate History Festival, which takes place 21st - 23rd October this year.
HWA Chair Imogen Robertson said: "History In The Court is a wonderful event for historical fiction fans and writers to come together and celebrate the genre. With Goldsboro Books sponsoring the HWA Goldsboro Debut Crown, the event was a wonderful chance to reveal our shortlist. There are such excellent books in contention, I don't envy the judges in trying to narrow it down to one winner."