The Duff Cooper Prize

Duff Cooper’s bookplate,
designed by Rex Whistler

The Duff Cooper Prize

The Duff Cooper Prize

Since 2005 we have been generously supported by
Pol Roger
which donates the Champagne for the award presentation,
and contributes £1000 towards the £5,000 prize.


Duff CooperDuff Cooper, statesman, diplomat and author, was born in 1890. He 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. Shortly before his death he was made 1st Viscount Norwich. Among his best-known books are Talleryrand, Operation Heartbreak and his autobiography, Old Men Forget.

After Duff Cooper's death in 1954, a group of his friends formed a Trust to endow a literary prize in his memory. Two of the five judges appointed by the Trust are ex-officio: the Warden of New College, Oxford, and a member of Duff Cooper's family - originally Duff Cooper's son, John Julius Norwich. He ran the prize for its first thirty-six years, and then passed it on his daughter, Artemis Cooper. The other three judges serve for five years and appoint their own successors. The first three were Maurice Bowra, Cyril Connolly and Raymond Mortimer. Those serving at present are Miles Young, Warden of New College; the author and editor Mark Amory; Susan Brigden FBA, historian and retired Fellow and Tutor of Lincoln College Oxford; and David Horspool, History editor at the TLS.

Duff Cooper's wedding to Lady Diana Manners, 1919
Duff Cooper's wedding to Lady Diana Manners, 1919
Registered Charity 313572

Website design by Orphans