Walter Scott Prize Longlist 2022

The longlist for the 2022 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been announced today! Thanks to this prize, I have discovered lots of great books and authors over the last few years and always look out for the longlists and shortlists; in fact, trying to read all of the shortlisted titles since the prize began in 2010 is a personal project of mine (you can see my progress here).

There are thirteen books on this year’s longlist:

Blue Postcards by Douglas Bruton (Fairlight Books)

Snow Country by Sebastian Faulks (Hutchinson Heinemann)

Rose Nicolson by Andrew Greig (Riverrun)

Mrs England by Stacey Halls (Manilla Press)

The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small by Neil Jordan (Lilliput Press)

The Sunken Road by Ciarán McMenamin (Harvill Secker)

The Fortune Men by Nadifa Mohamed (Viking)

News of the Dead by James Robertson (Hamish Hamilton)

China Room by Sunjeev Sahota (Harvill Secker)

Fortune by Amanda Smyth (Peepal Tree Press)

Learwife by J.R Thorp (Canongate)

The Magician by Colm Tóibín (Viking)

Still Life by Sarah Winman (Fourth Estate)


I have only read two of the books on the longlist so far. I loved Rose Nicolson and am not surprised to see it included here and I also enjoyed Still Life (apart from the lack of speech marks, which was annoying). Mrs England has been on my TBR since last year and I will definitely try to read it before the shortlist is revealed, while The Fortune Men and Snow Country are also books that I was already thinking about reading. Of the others, I’m familiar with Learwife and The Magician but haven’t been tempted to read either, and the rest are completely new to me. I’m always surprised when I haven’t heard of half of the longlisted titles, considering how much historical fiction I read!

Have you read any of these books? Which ones would you recommend?

The shortlist will be announced in April and the winner in June at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Scotland.

20 thoughts on “Walter Scott Prize Longlist 2022

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I was already interested in reading Snow Country after seeing some positive reviews of it. I’ll definitely try to read that one now that it has been longlisted.

  1. joulesbarham says:

    It’s good to see this list -thanks. I have Still Life, Mrs England and Rose Nicolson to read, and am interested in Blue Postcards, Snow Country and Learwife. Like you, I love historical fiction, so it’s good to have this British/Irish based prize list to look at.

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad you’re interested in reading some of these. I’ve discovered a lot of good books through this prize that I would probably never have read otherwise.

  2. whatcathyreadnext says:

    I’ve read Snow Country, Mrs England and The Fortune Men. The latter was my favourite of the three. Rose Nicolson, Still Life, The Magician, and – as of today – China Room and Learwife are in my TBR pile. The rest of them are new to me. Good to see a couple of books from small publishers on the list.

  3. Carmen says:

    The Magician was my favorite book of last year. It’s 512 pages long, but you are used to reading hefty tomes. I highly recommend it.

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad you would recommend The Magician, Carmen. I haven’t read much by Thomas Mann and thought that might be a problem, but hopefully it won’t matter.

  4. Davida Chazan says:

    I’ve read Learwife and The Magician. I’m thinking The Magician has a very good chance, but Learwife is the type of book that they might choose because it is so different. I’ve also heard great things about Still Life, so… In any case, good luck to them all!

    • Helen says:

      I wasn’t planning to read either Learwife or The Magician until I saw them longlisted for this prize, but I’ll probably try to read them now. The judges do seem to go for things that are unusual and different.

  5. FictionFan says:

    I loved Snow Country and Rose Nicolson – Rose Nicolson may well turn out to my my Book of 2022 in fact, since I can’t imagine a better one will come along! I tried Learwife but really disliked her style of writing, so abandoned it very quickly. However it was just a matter of taste – she was just too poetic for me – so hopefully you’ll get on better with it if you decide to read it. I haven’t read any of the rest, nor even heard of most of them.

    • Helen says:

      Rose Nicolson is great, isn’t it? I’m glad you liked it! I will probably try Learwife but I don’t always get on with very poetic writing either so could have the same problem.

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