About the Prize

The Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize, worth £5000, is awarded biennially.

The twenty-fourth Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize has been won by Charles Townshend for his book The Republic: the fight for Irish independence 1918-1923, published by Allen Lane.

The most recent Prize covered work published, performed or broadcast during the calendar years 2013 and 2014, and was presented on 19 March 2015. See the 2013 – 2014 shortlisted entries.

‘Work’ is defined broadly; as can be seen from the list of previous winners. It has in the past been won by works from the genres of history, politics, fiction, drama, journalism and memoir.

Occasionally a double presentation has been made. The Judges have also from time to time made a Special Award to recognize a person or group whose body of work has contributed to the objectives of the Prize; such recipients have included, in the past, the essayist Hubert Butler, the politician Garret Fitzgerald, and the poet Michael Longley.

The first prize was awarded in 1977.

The objectives of the Prize are to recognize work that promotes and encourages peace and reconciliation in Ireland, a greater understanding between the peoples of Britain and Ireland, or closer co-operation between the partners of the European Community.  These are the ideals which inspired Christopher Ewart-Biggs and to which his widow Jane subsequently dedicated herself.

The Prize is administered by the Ewart-Biggs Trust, which includes  the children of Christopher and Jane Ewart-Biggs, Robin, Kate and Henrietta; and by the Judges’ panel, chaired by Professor Roy Foster.