The BARS First Book Prize

The BARS First Book Prize

Awarded biennially for the best first monograph in Romantic Studies, this prize is open to first monographs published between the Januaries of odd-numbered years.   In keeping with the remit of the British Association for Romantic Studies, the prize is designed to encourage and recognise original, ground-breaking and interdisciplinary work in the literature and culture of the period 1780-1830.  The prize is awarded to the value of £250 and presented at a reception the BARS biennial conference.

Eligibility and Nomination Procedures

The competition is open to scholarly monographs by authors who have not published a monograph before.  Books must be nominated through the BARS membership.  Nominations should attest to the importance of the book within the field, detailing its particular strengths and describing the nature of its original contribution.  They should be no longer than one side of A4 in length.  Please send nominations to the Secretary of BARS, Helen Stark (  The BARS Executive provides a panel of judges which is chaired by an eminent scholar in the field.  Deadlines for nominations are announced via the mailbase and on the blog, Facebook and Twitter.

The 2017 Award

The 2017 shortlist was as follows:

  • Julia S. Carlson, Romantic Marks and Measures: Wordsworth’s Poetry in Fields of Print (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)
  • Siobhan Carroll, An Empire of Air and Water: Uncolonizable Space in the British Imagination, 1750-1850 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)
  • Devin Griffiths, The Age of Analogy: Science and Literature Between the Darwins (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016)

The panel of judges, chaired by Nigel Leask, awarded the prize to Julia S. Carlson’s Romantic Marks and Measures: Wordsworth’s Poetry in Fields of Print.

The 2015 Award

The 2015 shortlist was as follows:

  • Jeremy Davies, Bodily Pain in Romantic Literature (Routledge, 2014).
  • Mary Fairclough, The Romantic Crowd: Sympathy, Controversy and Print Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • Maureen McCue, British Romanticism and the Reception of Italian Old Master Art, 1793-1840 (Ashgate, 2014).
  • Orianne Smith, Romantic Women Writers, Revolution, and Prophecy: Rebellious Daughters, 1786–1826 (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

The panel of judges (Emma Clery (Chair), Ian Haywood, David Higgins and Susan Valladares) awarded the prize to Orianne Smith’s Romantic Women Writers, Revolution, and Prophecy: Rebellious Daughters, 1786–1826.  The judges’ report can be read on the BARS Blog.