Book Prize


The BAVS-Rosemary Mitchell Prize 2023 goes to:

Lara Kriegel, The Crimean War and its Afterlife: Making Modern Britain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022)

Honourable Mention:

Rosalind Crone, Illiterate Inmates: Educating Criminals in Nineteenth Century England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022)



Annually, BAVS awards the Rosemary Mitchell Book Prize to the best second monograph published that year in Victorian studies. The prize is judged by a panel of BAVS scholars.

The prize winner is normally announced in mid-June and will be expected to attend the following BAVS conference (conference fee, accommodation and travel expenses will be paid by BAVS) later in the summer. A panel will be devoted to the prize winning book. There will also be a cash prize of £500.

Please see below for details of the entry process for previous years of the prize.


The BAVS-Rosemary Mitchell Prize for a Second Monograph 2023

Judges: Dr. Charlotte Boyce, Professor Rohan McWilliam (Chair), Dr. Jo Parsons


This is a prize awarded by the British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS) which is intended for mid-career scholars.  The winning book will be the second book by a scholar.

Eligible contenders must have published a scholarly work in Victorian Studies between 16 February 2022 and 15 February 2023.  In order to submit, an author has to be a paid up member of BAVS on 16 February 2022  (please note: this will be checked).  Members of BAVS outside the UK can enter books for the prize.  Applicants for the prize do not need to have a university post.  Current members of the BAVS executive are not eligible to submit.

The work needs to be a scholarly monograph in Victorian Studies (multi-authored books of articles will not be acceptable but joint-authored monographs will be).  We will not accept scholarly editions of Victorian texts, neo-Victorian novels or websites.

We will accept monograph studies devoted to the long nineteenth century (broadly defined) but will also accept texts that deal with neo-Victorian Studies as well.  The work in question does need to have some post-1830 content (up to 1914).   The prize is open to scholars in any discipline that deals with nineteenth century Britain (including Britain’s relationship with the wider world).

Publishers or authors may nominate a book.  A covering letter (either by the author or the publisher) must indicate the name and publication details of the author’s first book.  We accept that the author’s first book may not have been in Victorian Studies: they simply have to have published an earlier scholarly monograph. If publishers or authors wish to check if a work is eligible or not, they should email before 11 February 2023.  The covering letter can be sent separately by email (to the Chair Rohan McWilliam) if desired.

The judges will need to be provided with THREE hard copies of the nominated work (paperback copies are acceptable).  IMPORTANT: The author/publisher needs to email with details of the book.  Rohan McWilliam will then provide the addresses that the author/publisher needs to send the books to.

The final deadline for receipt of books is 1 March 2023.   Volumes received after that date will not be eligible and will not be returned.   It is the responsibility of authors to make sure that publishers send over copies of the book.  We do not expect authors to pay for copies and take no responsibility for this.  Books sent for consideration  will not be returned.  Dispatch of the books by authors or publishers grants BAVS ownership of them.

The prize winner will be announced in mid-June and will be expected to attend the following BAVS conference (conference fee, accommodation and travel expenses will be paid by BAVS) in August 2023.  A panel will be devoted to the prize winning book.  A number of people will offer responses to the volume and the author will respond.

The cash prize: £500.  If a monograph is joint-authored, the prize money will be divided between the authors.

All judges are required to declare any conflict of interest.

The Judges’s decision is final.

The Prize is named after the late Professor/Reverend Rosemary Mitchell (1967-2001).  Rosemary was a brilliant scholar who served on the board of BAVS.  Her superb work which covered history, literature and art history, embodied the interdisciplinary project for which BAVS stands.  Naming the Prize after her serves as an inspiration to Victorianists well into the future.


Cover for Crusoes Books

The prize was awarded in 2022 to Bill Bell’s Crusoe’s Books: Readers in the Empire of Print, 1800-1918 (Oxford University Press).










Female Husbands

Cover for Picture World

This prize was awarded for the first time in 2021 to Jen Manion’s Female Husbands: A Trans History (Cambridge University Press) with an honourable mention for Rachel Teukolsky’s Picture World: Image, Aesthetics and Victorian New Media (Oxford University Press).

BAVS marked the event with a Zoom session on 28 July 2021 when Jen Manion discussed her book with a group of scholars. Click here to watch the recording.