The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019: Some Contenders?

The deadline for publishers to submit books published in 2018 for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019 is fast approaching (31st January).  Like other historical fiction fans, I shall be eagerly awaiting the announcement of the longlist and the ‘Academy Recommends’ list in February/March. Last year, I managed to read eight of the thirteen longlisted novels and all but one of the shortlisted novels.  You can find links to my reviews here.  This year I aim to read, if possible, all the longlisted novels (assuming I haven’t already read them).

There were some fantastic historical fiction novels published in 2018 and listed below are some I’ve read that I’d love to see make the longlist (subject to them meeting all the eligibility criteria).  In addition, there are some books in my TBR pile I haven’t got around to reading yet but which, judging from reviews, potentially deserve a place.  Finally, there are a few others that I’m yet to acquire but which also look like possible contenders for inclusion.

Check back when the longlist is announced to see how my picks match the judges’ choices – if at all!


Books I read and loved in 2018 (click on title for my review)

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar (Vintage)

The Devil’s Half Mile by Paddy Hirsch (Corvus)

Paris in the Dark by Robert Olen Butler (No Exit Press)

The Black Earth by Philip Kazan (Allison and Busby)

The Great Darkness by Jim Kelly (Allison and Busby)

The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason (Mantle)

The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford (Corvus)

Nucleus (Tom Wilde #2) by Rory Clements (Bonnier Zaffre)

Mr. Peacock’s Possessions by Lydia Syson (Bonnier Zaffre)

The Poison Bed by E. C. Fremantle (Michel Joseph)

The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola (Tinder Press)

Smile of the Wolf by Tim Leach (Head of Zeus)

Books in my TBR pile (click on title for Goodreads description)

Transcription by Kate Atkinson (Doubleday)

All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison (Bloomsbury)

Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller (Sceptre)

Books ‘on my RADAR’ (click on title for Goodreads description)

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape)

Love Is Blind by William Boyd (Viking)

Is your favourite on my list?  What other historical fiction novels published in 2018 do you think deserve to be nominated?

9 thoughts on “The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2019: Some Contenders?

    1. Absolutely! That’s assuming of course you’ve not just already seen it in my blog post, LOL. Not sure, I’m that good at predictions although I did correctly forecast the ultimate winner last year, The Gallows Pole.

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  1. I haven’t read all of those books, but of the ones I’ve read I wouldn’t be surprised to see The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock and Now We Shall Be Entirely Free on the list. Maybe the Kate Atkinson as well, as she has been nominated before. Looking forward to the announcement!

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    1. Yes, when I first read The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock I immediately thought it was the type of book the judges might go for. Trying to boost Now We Are Entirely Free up my reading pile!

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