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 by publishers or 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.
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 2021 Award
The 2021 shortlist was as follows:
- Will Bowers, The Italian Idea: Anglo-Italian Radical Literary Culture, 1815-1823 (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
- Amelia Dale, The Printed Reader: Gender, Quixotism, and Textual Bodies in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Bucknell University Press, 2019)
- Hrileena Ghosh, John Keats’ Medical Notebook: Text, Context, and Poems (Liverpool University Press, 2020)
- Gerard Lee McKeever, Dialectics of Improvement: Scottish Romanticism, 1786-1831 (Edinburgh University Press, 2020)
The panel of judges, chaired by Francesca Saggini and comprising David Fallon, Tess Somervell and Angela Wright, awarded the prize to Gerard Lee McKeever’s Dialectics of Improvement: Scottish Romanticism, 1786-1831, with an honourable mention for Hrileena Ghosh’s John Keats’ Medical Notebook: Text, Context, and Poems.
The 2019 Award
The 2019 shortlist was as follows:
- Melissa Bailes, Questioning Nature: British Women’s Scientific Writing and Literary Originality: 1750-1830 (Virginia University Press, 2017)
- Manu Samriti Chander, Brown Romantics: Poetry and Nationalism in the Global Nineteenth Century (Bucknell University Press, 2017)
- Thomas H. Ford, Wordsworth and the Poetics of Air (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
- Dahlia Porter, Science, Form, and the Problem of Induction in British Romanticism (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
The panel of judges, chaired by Claire Connolly, awarded the prize to Thomas H. Ford’s Wordsworth and the Poetics of Air. The judges’ report can be read on the BARS Blog.
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 judges’ report can be read on the BARS Blog.
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.