Prizes & Grants

Book Prize

NAVSA is pleased to announce the annual prize for the best book of the year in Victorian studies. In addition to receiving complimentary registration and up to $1000 for travel, the winner of the NAVSA Best Book of the Year will be honored with a special session devoted to the book at the annual NAVSA conference.

Books may be on any topic related to the study of Victorian Britain or its empire, and the winning book will be selected according to three criteria: (1) Potential significance for Victorian studies; (2) Quality and depth of scholarly research and interpretation; (3) Clarity and effectiveness of presentation. Only monographs are eligible; no essay collections or new editions.

Anyone is free to nominate a book, and self-nominations are welcome. Authors do not need to be members of NAVSA and may be from any country and of any institutional standing.

In order to be eligible for the prize, the book must carry a copyright date from the previous calendar year.

The prize is also contingent on the author’s attendance at the next NAVSA conference for the entire range of conference dates. Authors must appear in person at the special session or they are not eligible for the award. Next year’s conference will occur on 2-5 March, 2022, in Vancouver, Canada.

To nominate a book that is copyrighted 2021 calendar year, please submit the following by Monday, 7 February 2022: a PDF of the book to the following address:

The NAVSA Executive Council selects two judges for the Book Prize, both of whom will also be present at the conference round table. We will strive for interdisciplinary representation on the prize committee whenever possible.

Questions may be directed to

Past Winners:

Books published in 2019
winner: Grace E. Lavery (U of California, Berkeley), Quaint, Exquisite: Victorian Aesthetics and the Idea of Japan (Princeton UP, 2019)
honorable mention: Elizabeth Chang (U of Missouri), Novel Cultivations: Plants in British Literature of the Global Nineteenth Century (U of Virginia P, 2019)

Books published in 2018
winner: Gregory Vargo (New York U), An Underground History of Early Victorian Fiction: Chartism, Radical Print Culture, and the Social Problem Novel (Cambridge UP, 2018)
honorable mention: Sarah Allison (Loyola U, New Orleans), Reductive Reading: A Syntax of Victorian Moralizing (Johns Hopkins UP, 2018)

Books published in 2017
winner: Yopie Prins (U Michigan), Ladies' Greek: Victorian Translations of Tragedy (Princeton UP, 2017)
honorable mention: Daniel Hack (U Michigan), Reaping Something New: African American Transformations of Victorian Literature (Princeton UP, 2017)

Books published in 2016
winner: Talia Schaffer (CUNY), Romance's Rival: Familiar Marriage in Victorian Fiction (Oxford UP)

Books published in 2015
winner: Helena Michie (Rice U) and Robyn Warhol (Ohio State U), Love Among the Archives: Writing the Lives of Sir George Scharf, Victorian Bachelor (Edinburgh UP)

Books published in 2014
winner: Seth Koven (Rutgers U), The Match Girl and the Heiress (Princeton UP)
honorable mention: Andrew Sartori (New York U), Liberalism in Empire: An Alternative History (U of California P)
honorable mention: Aeron Hunt (Brown U), Personal Business: Character and Commerce in Victorian Literature and Culture (U of Virginia P)

Books published in 2013
winner: Elizabeth Carolyn Miller (U California, Davis), Slow Print: Literary Radicalism and Late Victorian Print Culture (Stanford UP)
honorable mention: Adelene Buckland (Cambridge U), Novel Science: Fiction and the Invention of Nineteenth-Century Geology (U of Chicago P)

Books published in 2012
winner: Catherine Robson (NYU), Heart Beats: Everyday Life and the Memorized Poem (Princeton UP)