BARS First Book Prize 2015: Judges’ Report

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By Matthew Sangster

Following up on the announcement that Orianne Smith’s Romantic Women Writers, Revolution, and Prophecy Rebellious Daughters, 1786–1826 was selected by the judges from a strong shortlist as the inaugural winner of the BARS First Book Prize, please see below for a statement from the judges on the shortlisted books and on the timetable for the 2017 prize.

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BARS First Book Prize Shortlist 2015

Panel: Emma Clery (Chair), Ian Haywood, David Higgins, Susan Valladares.

It’s been heartening to find that news of the death of the academic monograph has been slightly exaggerated, and that British publishers are continuing to invest in new scholars. At the same time, getting a book into print remains a massive challenge and a huge achievement and all the nominated authors are prize-winners in that respect.

The following remarks are extracts from the views of the judges on the short-listed works, cited in the award ceremony speech:

Jeremy Davies, Bodily Pain in Romantic Literature (Routledge, 2014): intellectually adventurous and highly interdisciplinary…It successfully manages the difficult trick of combining theory-based erudition and accessibility, bringing a wealth of material from ‘pain studies’ and ‘medical humanities’ into the realm of Romantic literary studies.

Mary Fairclough, The Romantic Crowd: Sympathy, Controversy …read more