The Pol Roger Duff Cooper Prize celebrates the best in non-fiction writing.

The first award was made in 1956 in honour of the statesman and writer Alfred Duff Cooper: it has been given annually ever since.

The Prize honours excellence in the genres relished by its namesake, including history, biography, travel and nature writing, politics and literary criticism.

The winner receives £5,000 and a magnum of Pol Roger.

HAIL FRIEND AND READ

From the inscription on the frieze of the Duff Cooper Library in the British Embassy, Paris

The Pol Roger Duff Cooper Prize celebrates the best in non-fiction writing.

The first award was made in 1956, in honour of the statesman and writer Alfred Duff Cooper, and it has been given annually ever since.

The Prize honours excellence in the genres relished by its namesake, including history, biography, travel writing, politics and literary criticism.

Hail friend and read

From the inscription on the Duff Cooper Library in the British Embassy, Paris

Key Dates

2

2023

Shortlist revealed

6

2023

Winner announced

Alfred Duff Cooper (1890 – 1954) statesman, diplomat and author, won the DSO as a second lieutenant in the First World War, and entered Parliament in 1923.

His life was devoted to politics until 1938 when, as First Lord of the Admiralty, he resigned in protest at the Munich Agreement.

Called back to office by Churchill in 1940, his wartime career culminated in his appointment as Ambassador to France.

Among his best-known books are Talleyrand, Operation Heartbreak and his autobiography, Old Men Forget.

Wine has lit up for me the pages of literature, and revealed in life romance lurking in the commonplace.

DUFF COOPER

Old Men Forget

RECENT WINNERS

  • 2021

    Mark Mazower

    The Greek Revolution: 1821 and the Making of Modern Europe

  • 2020

    Judith Herrin

    Ravenna Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe

  • 2019

    John Barton

    A History of the Bible

  • 2018

    Julian Jackson

    A Certain Idea of France: The Life of Charles de Gaulle

OUR HOME

OUR SPONSOR

NEW COLLEGE, OXFORD

New College is the home of the Duff Cooper Memorial Fund, the charity reponsible for the Prize. Duff Cooper read History at the college in 1908, and benefited from its culture of tolerance, its remarkable library and the wide learning of its tutors.

The Warden of New College is among the Prize’s five judges.

POL ROGER

The Prize is generously supported by Pol Roger, which supplies the Champagne for the annual awards ceremony and contributes towards the £5,000 prize money. The Pol Roger connection dates back to 11 November 1944, when, as Ambassador to newly liberated France, Duff Cooper served the 1928 vintage at an Armistice dinner for Churchill and de Gaulle. A year later, Duff introduced Churchill and Odette Pol Roger, who became lifelong friends.