2018 Shortlist

Announced 5th April 2018

‘The short-list for the 2018 Elizabeth Longford Prize suggests that historical biography is a flourishing and expanding genre. Lives which seemed well-examined, such as Hitler’s and Lenin’s, have been put under the microscope from a new angle, and emerge altered; Machiavelli’s developing political thought is woven audaciously and convincingly into the story of his life; the extraordinary and sometimes chilling achievements of Queen Isabella are shown as the epic background to Spain’s Golden Age; and the multiple lives of a legendary and self-fabulizing adventurer are tracked through early nineteenth-century India with the skills of a tenacious detective. Each of these books combines a compelling narrative with original biographical scholarship, in the tradition of previous winners of the Prize, and of the historian-biographer whom it commemorates.’

Professor Roy Foster, Chair of Judges