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Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

I was surprised that The Lacuna won the Orange Prize a couple of weeks ago, beating Man Booker Prize winner Wolf Hall. I loved Wolf Hall (history is my thing) and can’t wait for the next book(s) to come out so I can read it again. I was very pleased then to see that Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall has won a new literary prize, the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction which comes with £25,000 prize money. The Walter Scott Prize, is sponsored by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch (distant descendants of Sir Walter Scott) with support from EventScotland and was launched only this year. The prize’s definition of historical is where the events described take place at least 60 years before publication, and so stand outside personal experience of the author. The definition comes from Scott’s subtitle for his novel Waverley: “Tis Sixty Years Since.” The judges described Wolf Hall as “as good as the historical novel gets – immersive, engaging, beautifully crafted, and compulsively readable. Choose any superlative: it will fail this book. Mantel’s empathy for, and assimilation of, her world is so seamless and effortless as to be almost disturbing.” Shortlisted for the prize were :

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