Biographer's Club Prize dinner - Friday 21 November


Lifetime Services to Biography winner: Richard Holmes

Join us for our annual Prize Dinner, when we will announce the winners of the Slightly Foxed First Biography Prize (£3,500 – shortlist below) and the Tony Lothian Prize (£2,000, for a proposal for a first biography), and when Richard Holmes will receive the Lifetime Services to Biography Prize.

Venue: the National Liberal Club, Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2HE. 21 November, 6.30pm for 7pm.

Tickets: £60. Book with This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and send cheques (made out to the Biographers' Club) to Nicholas Clee, 8 Plimsoll Road, London N4 2EW. Bank details available on request. Please state dietary requirements.

Slightly Foxed Prize shortlist

  • FAISAL I OF IRAQ, Ali A Allawi (Yale)



For Your Diary: Biographers' Club Christmas party
Tuesday, 9 December, at 27 Redesdale Street, London SW1. Tickets, £20.


Summer party

The Club's summer party took place on Wednesday 18 June in the beautiful garden of an 18th-century house, graced by the spirits of Muzio Clementi and Felix Mendelssohn, in Kensington, with music by the Crouch End Allstars (Wally Fawkes on clarinet).

summer party hicks laoutaris alexander donnan

Gary Hicks, Chris Laoutaris, James Hamilton, Emma Donnan

summer party ridley eade

Jane Ridley, Philip Eade

summer party allstars

The Crouch End Allstars


Prize Dinner

The Biographers' Club Prize dinner - featuring the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize, the Tony Lothian Prize, and the Lifetime Services to Biography Prize - will take place at the National Liberal Club on Friday 21 November. Further details to follow.


How To Get the Best Out of Your Researches

biog panel may14From left: Inez Lynn of the London Library, Anne de Courcy (Chair), Jane Ridley, and Chris Laoutaris were the expert and informative panellists at the Club's latest panel event, held at the Swedenborg Hall on 20 May.






How To Pitch, and Promote, Your Book

how to pitch mar14There was a packed audience at Swedenborg Hall on 3 March for an event that imparted a wealth of practical advice on dealing with agents, publishers, publicists, and literary festivals.

Pictured left to right are Andrew Lownie (founder and Life President of the Biographers’ Club); Ariane Bankes (Buxton and Dovedale festivals); Ruth Killick (Ruth Killick Publicity, former Publicity Director at Profile Books); Anne de Courcy (Biographers' Club Chairman); and Bea Hemming  (Editorial Director at Weidenfeld & Nicolson).


Charles Moore wins HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize
prize dinner 13 moore2The HW Fisher Best First Biography Prize (£5,000) has gone to Charles Moore for the first volume of Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography (Allen Lane). Moore received the Prize at the Biographers’ Club Prize dinner, held at the Savile Club in London on 20th November (pictured right with Andrew Subramaniam of HW Fisher).
Runner-up for the Prize was Harriet Tuckey for Everest: The First Ascent (Ebury), her account of her father’s role as doctor to the team that first climbed Everest. Also shortlisted were Kate Bassett for In Two Minds, her life of Jonathan Miller (Oberon); Robert Beaken for Cosmo Lang, Archbishop in War and Crisis (IB Tauris);  Alan Johnson for his memoir of his extraordinary childhood, This Boy (Bantam Press); and John Smart for Tarantula’s Web, a wide-ranging life of John Hayward, close friend of T.S. Eliot.
D.J. Taylor, on behalf of the judges – who included biographer Sally Cline and Robert Collins, Deputy Literary Editor of the Sunday Times – commented: “The shortlist for the H.W. Fisher Prize is brimful of variety, ranging from the lives of bygone litterateurs and distinguished churchmen to world-famous politicians and mountaineers, and demonstrates biography's ability to reinvent itself to meet some of the challenges to which all literary forms – and this one especially – are subject.”
The Biographers’ Club Tony Lothian Prize (£2,000) for the best proposal by an uncommissioned, first-time biographer went to Elaine Thornton for her proposal for a life of Amalia Beer, mother of the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer, and a tireless patron and proponent of Jewish cultural life in 19th-century Berlin. Runner-up was Eleanor Fitzsimmons for A Want of Honour: The Tragic Life and Death of Harriet Shelley. The Prize is sponsored by The Duchess of Buccleuch. The judges were Andrew Lycett, Tracy Borman, and Helen Fry. Lycett commented: “Getting across the essence of a compelling life story in a shortish space is an essential skill for any aspiring biographer. The judges were hugely impressed by the application of all who submitted entries for this prize. Their standard was high and their range of subjects wide.”
Lady Antonia Fraser won the Biographers’ Club Lifetime Services to Biography Award, receiving a glass bowl engraved by Peter Furlonger. She succeeds previous winners Michael Holroyd, Philip Zeigler, Selina Hastings, and Claire Tomalin.


Founded in 1997 by literary agent and biographer Andrew Lownie, the Biographers' Club is an umbrella organisation which seeks to educate, inspire, promote and foster a better understanding of the art of biography and its relevance across the broad spectrum of human endeavour. Through our events, we create a forum for this understanding, a public benefit for all in the art of biography across all media and disciplines, and a professional and social interaction among its membership.


For general enquiries please contact Nicholas Clee: info at biographersclub dot co dot uk

For membership enquiries contact Philippa Bernard: membership at biographersclub dot co dot uk

For events enquiries contact: secretary at biographersclub dot co dot uk Please email this address to book your place at our events

For prize enquiries contact Ariane Bankes, ariane dot bankes at googlemail dot com or call 020 7359 7769


Request to potential new Members

We would like to invite the regular (currently non-member) guests who attend our events to apply for membership of the Biographers' Club. Annual fee is £35. Please contact Philippa Bernard (email: membership at biographersclub dot co dot uk) to check if you are eligible to join (also, please read the criteria contained in the Membership Application form, available on the Home and Members pages, right-hand green button).

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©2011 Biographers' Club. All rights reserved. Designed by Dawn Roberts
Club founded by Andrew Lownie (President). Committee: Anne de Courcy (Chairman), Sarah Anderson, Philippa Bernard, Nicholas Clee, Caroline Knox, Brenda Maddox, Jane Ridley, David Waller.

Associate committee members: Jane Mays, Ariane Bankes (Prize Administrator).

Address for cheques [for events and membership]: 8 Plimsoll Road, London N4 2EW.

Address for entry fee cheques for the Tony Lothian Prize and HW Fisher Prize: 79 Arlington Avenue, London N1 7BA.


Company No. 6771370. Registered Charity No. 1128358.