The award was established in April 1888 by Mrs Rose Mary Crawshay as ‘The Byron, Shelley, Keats In Memoriam Yearly Prize Fund’. In 1914, some years after her death, the Charity Commissioners transferred the administration of the prize fund to the Academy. The Prize was first awarded in 1916.
Eligible nominations can be a for a historical or critical work on any subject connected with English Literature by a woman of any nationality provided that the nominated work is available in English. (Please note that, under the original terms, preference was given to a work regarding Byron, Shelley or Keats.)
How to nominate
Nominations may only be made by Fellows of the British Academy. Nomination forms are available from the Fellows area of the British Academy website.
Nominating body: Sections H5 and H6.
(The current convention is that one prize is awarded each year, but the list below shows that in the past there have often been two winners in a year.)
2017 Dr Kate Bennett for John Aubrey, Brief Lives with an Apparatus for the Lives of our English Mathematical Writers (Volume I & II) (Oxford University Press, 2015)
2016 Professor Lyndsey Stonebridge for The Judicial Imagination: Writing after Nuremberg (Edinburgh University Press, 2011)
2015 Professor Catherine Bates for Masculinity and the Hunt: Wyatt to Spenser (Oxford University Press, 2013); Professor Ankhi Mukherjee for What is a Classic? Postcolonial Rewriting and Invention of the Canon (Stanford University Press, 2014)
2014 Dr Hannah Sullivan for The Work of Revision (Harvard University Press, 2013)
2012 Professor Julie Sanders for The Cultural Geography of Early Modern Drama 1620-1650
2011 Professor Fiona Stafford for Local Attachments: The Province of Poetry (Oxford University Press)
2010 Dr Daisy Hay for Young Romantics (Bloomsbury)
2009 Frances Wilson for The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth (Faber); Professor Molly M Mahooodfor The Poet as Botanist (Cambridge University Press)
2008 Dr Helen W Small for The Long Life (Oxford University Press)
2007 Dr Susan Oliver for Scott, Byron and the Politics of Cultural Encounter (Palgrave)
2006 Dr Rosalind Ballaster for Fabulous Orients: Fictions of the East in England 1662-1785 (Oxford University Press)
2005 Judith Farr with Louise Carter for The Gardens of Emily Dickinson (Harvard University Press);Dr Claire Preston for Thomas Browne and the Writing of Early Modern Science (Cambridge University Press
2004 Dr Maud Ellmann for Elizabeth Bowen: The Shadow Across the Page (Edinburgh University Press); Dr Anne Stott for Hannah More: The First Victorian (Oxford University Press)
2003 Mrs Claire Tomalin for Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self (Penguin); Dr Jane Stabler for Byron, Poetics and History (Cambridge University Press)
2002 Professor Wendy Doniger for The Bedtrick: Tales of Sex and Masquerade (University of Chicago Press); Professor K Flint for The Victorians and the Visual Imagination (Cambridge University Press)
2001 Dr Annette Peach for Portraits of Byron (reprinted from the Walpole Society Volume LXII); Dr Lucy Newlyn for Reading, Writing, and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception (Oxford University Press)
2000 Marina Warner for No Go the Bogeyman: Scaring, Lulling and Making Mock (Chatto and Windus; Vintage); Joanne Wilkes for Lord Byron and Madame de Staël: Born for Opposition(Ashgate)