Congratulations to James Shapiro, who won the #BGPrize25 #WinnerofWinners with 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare! The book examines the life and times of The Bard, as well as asks the question: how did Shakespeare become one of the greatest writers who ever lived?
The winner was announced by Chair of Judges, Jason Cowley, at a ceremony hosted at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on 27 April.
The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Winner of Winners Award marks the 25th anniversary of the UK’s premier non-fiction book prize by crowning the best work from the last 25 years. As the winner, Shapiro will receive £25,000.
The winner was chosen by a judging panel comprising of New Statesman editor-in-chief, Jason Cowley (chair); academic, critic, and broadcaster, Shahidha Bari; journalist, author, and academic, Sarah Churchwell; and biographer and critic Frances Wilson. Their selection was made from a shortlist of 6 books, taken from the previous 24 prizewinning books.
In the run-up to the winner announcement, special editions of the Read Smart Podcast were produced through the generous support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The six shortlisted authors answered questions and delved deeper into their books.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, six young Waterstones booksellers championed the Winner of Winners Award shortlisted books — get to know them here. Catch up on all the 25th Anniversary celebrations by following @BGPrize on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube.