Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2017

The Dorothy Dunnett History Prize 2017, worth £1000, is offered by the Dorothy Dunnett Society (Scottish Charity SC030649 SCIO) in pursuit of its constitutional aim:

“To advance the education of the public concerning the history, politics, culture and religion of the 11th, 15th and 16th centuries by promoting the study of and research into such subjects particularly as they relate to the works of Dorothy Dunnett and to disseminate to the public the results of such research.”

The Prize is for an essay of up to 5000 words (normally 3000-4000). Entries will be accepted from students registered on a PhD programme at any recognised higher education institution. The competition is open to medievalists, Byzantinists and Ottomanists.

Thematic Guidelines

The novels of Scottish writer Dorothy Dunnett (1923-2001) are supported by extensive geographical and historical research and have wide-ranging settings, including (using present-day names) Scotland, France, England, Belgium, Italy, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey, Poland, Iceland, Algeria, Norway, Gambia and Mali (including Timbuktu). Her work explores many issues of political, military and cultural/social history.

The author set her fictional characters within the actual events and among the real people of the times. Her novels also explore more general themes including: the development of trade; banking; exploration and discovery; the role of women; the rise of industries such as printing and dyeing; diplomacy and spying; social mobility; transport and travel; domestic life; contemporary literature, music, art and artists; the role of religion and religious communities; conflict and war.

Essays may address any aspect of current historical research that meets the Society’s aims and/or falls within the thematic guidelines or other relevant topics and is contained, broadly, within the time periods of the novels.

Style Guidance

We are seeking submissions that will reflect Dorothy Dunnett’s skill in bringing alive the events and people of her chosen periods. While being based on the writer’s PhD work, essays should be written for a well-informed general reader rather than a specialist academic audience. The panel will be looking for involving and readable essays which bring the subject matter to life. The maximum number of words is 5000 but writers should remember that non-academic readers welcome ‘short and pithy’!

To find out more and how to apply, visit the University of Edinburgh School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

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