A college professor and a university fellow have won the Wolfson History Prize, awarded £30,000 each.
Nikolaus Wachsmann, a professor of modern European history at Birkbeck College, was awarded the prize for KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps (Little, Brown), and Robin Lane Fox, a Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford won it for his title Augustine: Conversions and Confessions (Allen Lane).
The prizes were awarded by the Wolfson Foundation at a reception at Claridge’s in London yesterday (15th June).
Professor Julia Smith, chichele chair of Medieval History at the University of Oxford and Wolfson History Prize judge, said Wachsmann’s work was “monumentally impressive” and “seems certain to become the definitive history of the Nazi concentration camps...his scholarship brings new life to a familiar subject.”
Meanwhile, Smith said Fox’s book was “beautifully written in a crystalline prose where not a word is out of place, it’s a book to read in a garden, or the shady courtyard of a Mediterranean villa, as well as in the study or library.”
The Wolfson History Prize has been awarded every year to British authors since 1972 and promotes and encourages standards of excellence in the writing of readable and scholarly history suitable for a general audience. Previous winners of the award have included Antony Beevor, Ian Kershaw, Antonia Fraser, David Reynolds, Richard Overy and Mary Beard.