Laura Cumming has won the James Tait Black Prize.

16th August 2017

Our alumna and the Observer's art critic Laura Cumming was announced as one of the winners of the James Tait Black Prize at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 14 August 2017.

The £10,000 prize for biography counts among its former winners Lytton Strachey, John Buchan, Antonia Fraser, and another St Hilda's alumna, Hermione Lee, who won the biography prize for her book 'Penelope Fitzgerald: A life' in 2013.

Laura Cumming is the 2017 winner for The Vanishing Man, which explores the story of Victorian bookseller John Snare, who believed he had found a lost painting by Velázquez. Other shortlisted titles were Alexander Masters’s A Life Discarded, a look at the life of the owner of 148 diaries which were found in a skip, Douglas Smith’s Rasputin, and Joe Moshenska’s A Stain in the Blood, an account of the life of Sir Kenelm Digby in the 17th century. The University of Edinburgh’s Dr Jonathan Wild, one of the judges for the biography prize, called The Vanishing Man “a real gem of a book which fully deserves its place among the winners of this prize”.

Many congratulations!