Rhakotis Book Prize 2020

The judging panel of the Rhakotis Book Prize are pleased to announce this year’s winners:

A people’s History of CLassics

Whose classics?

In the UK, Classics has always been presented as the preserve of an elite class: a badge of public school as powerful as the old school tie in opening doors to important positions.

This important book by Edith Hall and Henry Stead goes back to the sources and investigates the ways in which non-elite individuals interacted with ancient history and its legacy between 1689 and 1939.

This book is the result of deep academic research and so demands focus, but it’s an important addition to the ongoing cultural debates about the role of history.

The judges drew attention in particular to the portraits and stories of working class autodidacts and other non-elite classicists.

A reaffirming study of working class intellectualism and the importance of classics to challenge and inspire positive change within society.

-Full review to follow-

RUNNER UP: Square Haunting

What happens when three women classicists live in the same shabby chic London Square at different times in the early years of the Twentieth Century? Read Square Haunting to find out.

Francesca Wade’s group biography of five women is a refreshing take on some notable and (unfairly) less notable figures.

In particular she raises awareness of the life and work of Jane Harrison and H.D. two important figures who in their ways explored the classics beyond the classics.

A lucid and confident debut.

Judging Criteria

All books published around 15 months before the final ceremony which explore the Classics beyond the Classics are eligible. The panel will begin reviewing books in June 2021.