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Adrian Tinniswood shortlisted for Samuel Johnson Prize

Adrian Tinniswood, author of 'The Verneys'

Adrian Tinniswood, author of 'The Verneys' Kevin Clifford

Kevin Clifford

8 May 2007

Adrian Tinniswood of the Department of English has been shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for his popular history book ‘The Verneys’.

The Samuel Johnson Prize is the UK’s most prestigious non-fiction literary award and is now in its ninth year. The prize is open to books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts. All books published in the UK by writers of any nationality are eligible.

The Verneys is one of six books to make it to the shortlist. Based on the near-miraculous survival of tens of thousands of Verney family letters in an attic, it is an intimate portrait of 17th-century English life.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 18 June and broadcast live on BBC Four. The judging panel is chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, and includes journalist and broadcaster, Mark Lawson, and writer, Diana Athill. The winning author will receive £30,000 and each of the shortlisted authors receive £1,000.

Mr Tinniswood, a tutor on the Diploma in Creative Writing, has taught at Bristol since the programme started in 1994. Commenting on the shortlist, Mr Tinniswood said: ‘The fact that The Verneys has reached such a prestigious shortlist is a marvellous endorsement of popular history. I’m both proud for the book, and grateful for the support given me by colleagues and generations of students over the past 13 years.’

Tom Sperlinger, Director of Lifelong Learning in the Department of English, added: ‘We are all delighted for Adrian. I know many of his students were waiting keenly for the shortlist to be announced, which is a tribute to his gifts and commitment as a teacher as well as his undoubted qualities as a writer.’

The Verneys is published by Jonathan Cape, ISBN 9780224072557, hardback, price £25.

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