The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2021

The 2021 Shortlist was revealed on 23rd March, and comprises five books:

The Tolstoy Estate by Steven Conte

A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville 

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell 

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

The judges said of the shortlist: 

“For the first time in the history of the Walter Scott Prize, Australian authors comprise the majority of our shortlist. With imaginations and styles as varied as they are inspired, we have Pip Williams slipping us gently, hauntingly, into the Oxford English Dictionary; Steven Conte’s unflinching weaving of war and peace in the shadows of Tolstoy’s estate; and Kate Grenville expertly stitching the unreliable but compelling testimony of the remarkable Elizabeth Macarthur into an exploration of the meaning of home. And as if this wasn’t riches enough, we are launched so vividly into Tudor England with Hilary Mantel and Maggie O’Farrell that we live and die – what a death! – with Cromwell, and die and live, through a heart-crunching transformation, with Shakespeare’s son Hamnet.”