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Fellow shortlisted for prestigious history prize

19.05.20

A Fellow of St Catharine's has been shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society's prestigious Whitfield Prize. Dr Niamh Gallagher (2009), Lecturer at the Faculty of History in modern British and Irish history, has been recognised for 'Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History' (Bloomsbury).

Dr Adam Budd, Whitfield Prize Committee Chair, said,“This year’s Whitfield Prize shortlist is exceptionally strong. Every one of these titles displays British or Irish History at its best: innovative in approach, extensively researched, critically engaged in debates that inform thinking within and beyond the field, written with conviction yet with reflectiveness that will inspire colleagues, students, and readers beyond the academy.”

Dr Gallagher added, "I am absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for the Whitfield Prize! It is one of the most sought after book prizes for early career historians, and demonstrates the relevance of Irish history to a wide variety of audiences and an appreciation for work which approaches the study of the past from new perspectives. This year's shortlist is exceptionally strong so I'm very pleased to have gotten to this stage, but from what I can tell, no work of Irish history has ever won the prize since it was established in 1976, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that mine might be the first!"​

About the prize

Dr Gallagher is among a group of six authors in contention for the Whitfield Prize, the winner for which will be announced in July. The Prize was established by the Royal Historical Society in 1976 at the bequest of Professor Archibald Stenton Whitfield, who was a Fellow of the Society until his death in 1974. It is one of the Royal Historical Society’s two annual book awards.  

To be eligible for the prize the book must:

  • be its author’s first solely written history book;
  • be on a subject within a field of British or Irish history;
  • be an original and scholarly work of historical research by an author who received their doctoral degree from a British or Irish university;
  • have been published in English during the calendar year 2019.

About 'Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History' 

The book draws upon a formidable array of original research to offer a radical new reading of Irish involvement in the world's first total war. For many years, it was thought that Irish nationalists were not particularly supportive of the Allied war effort due to the rise of a radical nationalist movement that demanded independence from Britain. 'Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History' demonstrates that substantial support for the Allied war effort continued largely unabated not only until November 1918, but afterwards as well, and reveals a surprising degree of cross-confessional cooperation throughout the duration of the conflict, which has gone virtually unnoticed in existing scholarly accounts.

Testimonies

‘An outstandingly interesting monograph whose intelligent revisionism is grounded in impressive scholarship.’ 

'I believe it will come to be seen as a classic in the field and a standard reference point for all scholars working on Irish history in this period – whether they start from interests in the war or the Irish Revolution.’

Find out more about studying history at St Catharine's.