Duff Cooper Prize
The Duff Cooper Prize is a literary prize awarded annually for the best work of history
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, biography
A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts , biography also portrays the subject's experience of those events...

, political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 or (very occasionally) poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

, published in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 or French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

. The prize was established in honour of Duff Cooper
Duff Cooper
Alfred Duff Cooper, 1st Viscount Norwich GCMG, DSO, PC , known as Duff Cooper, was a British Conservative Party politician, diplomat and author. He wrote six books, including an autobiography, Old Men Forget, and a biography of Talleyrand...

, a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 diplomat, Cabinet member and acclaimed author. The prize was first awarded in 1956 to Alan Moorehead for his Gallipoli. At present, the winner receives a first edition copy of Duff Cooper's autobiography Old Men Forget and a cheque for £5,000.

An overview

After Duff Cooper's death in 1954, a group of his friends decided to establish a Trust to endow a literary prize in his memory. The Trust appoints five judges. Two of them are ex-officio: the Warden of New College, Oxford, and a member of Duff Cooper's family (initially, Duff Cooper's son, John Julius Norwich
John Julius Norwich
John Julius Cooper, 2nd Viscount Norwich CVO — known as John Julius Norwich — is an English historian, travel writer and television personality.-Early life:...

 for the first thirty-six years, and then his daughter, Artemis Cooper). The other three judges appointed by the Trust serve for five years and they appoint their own successors. The first three judges were Maurice Bowra, Cyril Connolly and Raymond Mortimer. At present, the three serving judges are the historian and biographer Lucy Hughes Hallett, the biographer and novelist Jonathan Keates, and the lawyer Dr Frank Callanan. The 53rd Duff Cooper prize was awarded to Martin J. Sherwin and Kai Bird for their work, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer on 19 February, 2009.


  • 1956 - Alan Moorehead
    Alan Moorehead
    Alan McCrae Moorehead OBE was a war correspondent and author of popular histories, most notably two books on the nineteenth-century exploration of the Nile, The White Nile and The Blue Nile . Australian-born, he lived in England, and Italy, from 1937.-Biography:Alan Moorehead was born in...

    , Gallipoli
  • 1957 - Lawrence Durrell
    Lawrence Durrell
    Lawrence George Durrell was an expatriate British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer, though he resisted affiliation with Britain and preferred to be considered cosmopolitan...

    , Bitter Lemons
    Bitter Lemons
    Bitter Lemons is an autobiographical work by writer Lawrence Durrell, describing the three years he spent on the island of Cyprus...

  • 1958 - John Betjeman
    John Betjeman
    Sir John Betjeman, CBE was an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who's Who as a "poet and hack".He was a founding member of the Victorian Society and a passionate defender of Victorian architecture...

    , Collected Poems
  • 1959 - Patrick Leigh Fermor
    Patrick Leigh Fermor
    Sir Patrick "Paddy" Michael Leigh Fermor, DSO, OBE was a British author, scholar and soldier, who played a prominent role behind the lines in the Cretan resistance during World War II. He was widely regarded as "Britain's greatest living travel writer", with books including his classic A Time of...

  • 1960 - Andrew Young
    Andrew Young (poet)
    Andrew John Young was a Scottish poet and clergyman. His status as a poet was recognised quite late and he received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 1952.-Life:...

     Collected Poems
  • 1961 - Jocelyn Baines Joseph Conrad
  • 1962 - Michael Howard
    Michael Howard (historian)
    Sir Michael Eliot Howard, OM, CH, CBE, MC, FBA is a British military historian, formerly Chichele Professor of the History of War and Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford University, and Robert A...

    , The Franco-Prussian War
  • 1963 - Aileen Ward, John Keats
  • 1964 - Ivan Morris
    Ivan Morris
    Ivan Ira Esme Morris was a British author and teacher in the field of Japanese Studies.Ivan Morris was born in London, of mixed American and Swedish parentage, to Ira Victor Morris and Edita Morris. He studied at Gordonstoun, before graduating from Phillips Academy...

    , The World of the Shining Prince
  • 1965 - George Painter
    George Painter
    George Duncan Painter, OBE known as George D. Painter, was an English author most famous as a biographer of Marcel Proust....

    , Marcel Proust
  • 1966 - Nirad C. Chaudhuri
    Nirad C. Chaudhuri
    Italic textNirad C. Chaudhuri was a Bengali−English writer and cultural commentator...

    , The Continent of Circe
    The Continent of Circe
    The Continent of Circe was a 1965 book of essays written by Indian author Nirad C. Chaudhuri. It won the Duff Cooper Prize. In this book, Chaudhuri discusses Indian society from a socio-psychological perspective...

  • 1967 - J.A. Baker
    J.A. Baker
    John Alec Baker was an English author best known for The Peregrine, which won the Duff Cooper Prize in 1967. Robert Macfarlane deemed it to be "a masterpiece of twentieth-century non-fiction" in his introduction to the New York Review of Books edition of the book...

    , The Peregrine
  • 1968 - Roy Fuller
    Roy Fuller
    Roy Broadbent Fuller was an English writer, known mostly as a poet. He was born in Failsworth, Lancashire, and brought up in Blackpool. He worked as a lawyer for a building society, serving in the Royal Navy 1941-1946.Poems was his first book of poetry. He began to write fiction also in the 1950s...

    , New Poems
  • 1969 - John Gross
    John Gross
    John Gross FRSL was an eminent English author, anthologist, literary and theatrical critic. The Spectator magazine called Gross “the best-read man in Britain”, as did The Guardian...

    , The Man of Letters
  • 1970 - Enid McLeod, Charles of Orleans
  • 1971 - Geoffrey Grigson
    Geoffrey Grigson
    Geoffrey Edward Harvey Grigson was a British writer. He was born in Pelynt, a village near Looe in Cornwall.-Life:...

    , Discoveries of Bones and Stones
  • 1972 - Quentin Bell
    Quentin Bell
    Quentin Claudian Stephen Bell was an English art historian and author.Bell was the son of Clive Bell and Vanessa Bell , and the nephew of Virginia Woolf . He was educated in London and at the Quaker Leighton Park School.Principally an artist, as a potter, he was drawn to academia...

    , Virginia Woolf
  • 1973 - Robin Lane Fox
    Robin Lane Fox
    Robin Lane Fox is an English historian, currently a Fellow of New College, Oxford and University of Oxford Reader in Ancient History.-Life:Lane Fox was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford....

    , Alexander the Great
  • 1974 - Jon Stallworthy
    Jon Stallworthy
    Jon Stallworthy FBA FRSL is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fellow and Acting President of Wolfson College, a poet, and literary critic....

    , Wilfred Owen
  • 1975 - Seamus Heaney
    Seamus Heaney
    Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet, writer and lecturer. He lives in Dublin. Heaney has received the Nobel Prize in Literature , the Golden Wreath of Poetry , T. S. Eliot Prize and two Whitbread prizes...

    , North
    North (poetry)
    North is a collection of poems written by Irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. It was the first of his works that directly dealt with the troubles experienced in Ireland through the 1960s and 70s. In particular, he uses parallels with past events to explain the problems of Irish society...

  • 1976 - Denis Mack Smith
    Denis Mack Smith
    Denis Mack Smith CBE is an English historian, specialising in the history of Italy from the Risorgimento onwards. He is best known for studies of Garibaldi and Cavour and of Mussolini, and for his single-volume Modern Italy: A Political History...

     , Mussolini's Roman Empire
  • 1977 - E.R.Dodds, Missing Persons
  • 1978 - Mark Girouard
    Mark Girouard
    Dr Mark Girouard MA, PhD, DipArch, FSA is a British architectural writer, an authority on the country house, leading architectural historian, and biographer of James Stirling.- Family life :...

    , Life in the English Country House
  • 1979 - Geoffrey Hill
    Geoffrey Hill
    Geoffrey Hill is an English poet, professor emeritus of English literature and religion, and former co-director of the Editorial Institute, at Boston University. Hill has been considered to be among the most distinguished poets of his generation...

     , Tenebrae
  • 1980 - Robert Bernard Martin, Tennyson, The Unquiet Heart
  • 1981 - Victoria Glendinning
    Victoria Glendinning
    The Hon. Victoria Glendinning, CBE , is a British biographer, critic, broadcaster and novelist; she is President of English PEN, a winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, was awarded a CBE in 1998 and is Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature.- Biography :She was born in Sheffield...

    , Edith Sitwell
  • 1982 - Richard Ellmann
    Richard Ellmann
    Richard David Ellmann was a prominent American literary critic and biographer of the Irish writers James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, and William Butler Yeats...

    , James Joyce
  • 1983 - Peter Porter
    Peter Porter (poet)
    Peter Neville Frederick Porter, OAM was a British-based Australian poet.-Life:Porter was born in Brisbane, Australia, in 1929. His mother, Marion, died of a burst gall-bladder in 1938. He attended the Church of England Grammar School and left school at 18, and went to work as a trainee journalist...

    , Collected Poems
  • 1984 - Hilary Spurling
    Hilary Spurling
    Hilary Spurling, CBE, FRSL is a British writer, known as a journalist and biographer. She won the Whitbread Prize for the second volume of her biography of Henri Matisse in January 2006...

    , Ivy When Young: The Early Life of Ivy Compton-Burnett
    Ivy Compton-Burnett
    Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, DBE was an English novelist, published as I. Compton-Burnett. She was awarded the 1955 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for her novel Mother and Son.-Life:...

     1884 - 1919
  • 1985 - Ann Thwaite
    Ann Thwaite
    Ann Thwaite has written five major biographies. "AA Milne: His Life" was the Whitbread Biography of the Year, 1990. "Edmund Gosse: A Literary Landscape" was described by John Carey as "magnificent - one of the finest literary biographies of our time"...

    , Edmund Gosse
  • 1986 - Alan Crawford
    Alan Crawford
    Alan Crawford may refer to:*Alan Crawford , Australian rules footballer*Alan Crawford , English footballer and manager...

    , C.R. Ashbee
  • 1987 - Robert Hughes, The Fatal Shore
    The Fatal Shore
    The Fatal Shore. The epic of Australia's founding, by Robert Hughes, published 1987 by Harvill Press, is a historical account of the United Kingdom's settlement of Australia as a penal colony with convicts. The book details the period 1770 onwards through white settlement to the 1840s, when...

  • 1988 - Humphrey Carpenter
    Humphrey Carpenter
    Humphrey William Bouverie Carpenter was an English biographer, writer, and radio broadcaster.-Biography:...

    , The Life of Ezra Pound
  • 1989 - Ian Gibson
    Ian Gibson (author)
    Ian Gibson is an Irish author and Hispanist known for his biographies of Antonio Machado, Salvador Dalí, Henry Spencer Ashbee, and particularly his work on Federico García Lorca, for which he won several awards, including the 1989 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for biography...

    , Federico Garcia Lorca
  • 1990 - Hugh Cecil
    Hugh Cecil
    Hugh Cecil Saunders was a celebrated English photographer of the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s, who practised under the professional name of Hugh Cecil....

     and Mirabel Cecil, Clever Hearts
  • 1991 - Ray Monk
    Ray Monk
    Ray Monk is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton, where he has taught since 1992.He won the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the 1991 Duff Cooper Prize for Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius. His interests lie in the philosophy of mathematics, the history of...

    , Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • 1992 - Peter Hennessy
    Peter Hennessy
    Peter John Hennessy, Baron Hennessy of Nympsfield, FBA is an English historian of government. Since 1992, he has been Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London.-Early life:...

    , Never Again
  • 1993 - John Keegan
    John Keegan
    Sir John Keegan OBE FRSL is a British military historian, lecturer, writer and journalist. He has published many works on the nature of combat between the 14th and 21st centuries concerning land, air, maritime, and intelligence warfare, as well as the psychology of battle.-Life and career:John...

    , A History of Warfare
  • 1994 - David Gilmour
    David Gilmour
    David Jon Gilmour, CBE, D.M. is an English rock musician and multi-instrumentalist who is best known as the guitarist, one of the lead singers and main songwriters in the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. In addition to his work with Pink Floyd, Gilmour has worked as a producer for a variety of...

    , Curzon
  • 1995 - Gitta Sereny
    Gitta Sereny
    Gitta Sereny is an Austrian-born biographer, historian and investigative journalist whose writing focuses mainly on the Holocaust and child abuse. She is the stepdaughter of the economist Ludwig von Mises....

    , Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth
  • 1996 - Diarmaid MacCulloch
    Diarmaid MacCulloch
    Diarmaid Ninian John MacCulloch FBA, FSA, FR Hist S is Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford...

    , Cranmer
  • 1997 - James Buchan
    James Buchan
    James Buchan, born 11 June 1954, is a British novelist and journalist.-Biography:Buchan is the son of William Buchan, 3rd Baron Tweedsmuir and grandson of John Buchan, the Scottish novelist and diplomat. He was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, and began his career as a Financial...

    , Frozen Desire
  • 1998 - Richard Holmes
    Richard Holmes (biographer)
    Richard Holmes, OBE, FRSL, FBA is a British author and academic best known for his biographical studies of major figures of British and French Romanticism.-Biography:...

    , Coleridge: Darker Reflections
  • 1999 - Adam Hochschild
    Adam Hochschild
    Adam Hochschild is an American author and journalist.-Biography:Hochschild was born in New York City. As a college student, he spent a summer working on an anti-government newspaper in South Africa and subsequently worked briefly as a civil rights worker in Mississippi in 1964...

    , King Leopold's Ghost
    King Leopold's Ghost
    King Leopold's Ghost is a best-selling popular history book by Adam Hochschild that explores the exploitation of the Congo Free State by King Leopold II of Belgium between 1885 and 1908....

  • 2000 - Robert Skidelsky, John Maynard Keynes
  • 2001 - Margaret MacMillan
    Margaret MacMillan
    Margaret Olwen MacMillan, OC is a historian and professor at the University of Oxford, where she is Warden of St. Antony's College. She is former provost of Trinity College and professor of history at the University of Toronto and previously, at Ryerson University...

    , Peacemakers: The Paris Conference of 1919 and Its Attempts to End War
  • 2002 - Jane Ridley, The Architect and his Wife
  • 2003 - Anne Applebaum
    Anne Applebaum
    Anne Elizabeth Applebaum is a journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author who has written extensively about communism and the development of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. She has been an editor at The Economist, and a member of the editorial board of The Washington Post...

    , Gulag: A History
    Gulag: A History
    Gulag: A History, also published as Gulag: A History of the Soviet Camps, is a non-fiction book covering the history of the Soviet Gulag system. It was written by American author Anne Applebaum and published in 2003 by Doubleday. Gulag won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and the...

  • 2004 - Mark Mazower
    Mark Mazower
    Mark A. Mazower is a British historian. His expertise is Greece, the Balkans and, more generally, 20th century Europe. He is currently a professor of history at Columbia University in New York City.-Career:...

    , Salonica: City of Ghosts
  • 2005 - Maya Jasanoff, Edge of Empire: Conquest and Collecting on the Eastern Frontiers of the British Empire
  • 2006 - William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal, The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857
    The Last Mughal
    The Last Mughal, The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857 is a 2006 historical book by William Dalrymple.-Summary:The book, Dalrymple's sixth, won praise for its use of "The Mutiny Papers", which included previously ignored Indian accounts of the events of 1857...

  • 2007 - Graham Robb
    Graham Robb
    Graham Macdonald Robb FRSL is a British author.Robb was born in Manchester and educated at the Royal Grammar School Worcester and Exeter College, Oxford, where he studied Modern Languages...

    , The Discovery Of France
  • 2008 - Kai Bird
    Kai Bird
    Kai Bird is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning author and columnist, best known for his biographies of political figures.-Personal life:Bird was born in 1951 in Eugene, Oregon. His father was a U.S. Foreign Service officer, and he spent his childhood in Jerusalem, Beirut, Dhahran, Cairo and Bombay...

     and Martin J. Sherwin
    Martin J. Sherwin
    Martin J. Sherwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American historian. His scholarship mostly concerns the history of the development of atomic energy and nuclear proliferation....

    , American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • 2009 - Robert Service
    Robert Service (historian)
    Robert John Service is a British historian, academic, and author who has written extensively on the history of Soviet Russia, particularly the era from the October Revolution to Stalin's death...

    , Trotsky: A Biography
  • 2010 - Sarah Bakewell, How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.