Belfast Telegraph

UK historian scoops ‘richest prize in non-fiction’ for book on Siberian exile

London-based Daniel Beer’s groundbreaking study of Siberian exile has been rewarded.

A British author has won a prestigious history prize worth more than £56,000.

London-based historian Daniel Beer was awarded the international Cundill History Prize – the richest in non-fiction for a single work in English – for his groundbreaking study of Siberian exile, titled The House Of The Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars.

Beer, a lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London, collected the $75,000 prize at a gala at the Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts in Canada.

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The book tells the story of the political exile of rebels – republicans, nationalist and socialist – to oblivion from European Russia.

A panel of historians and authors, led by Canadian professor Margaret MacMillan, chose the piece of work over a record 300 submissions.

Judges praised his ability to bring out individual stories and said the book read like a “tragic Russian novel”.

MacMillan said: “Daniel Beer has done extraordinary research, using underappreciated and unexamined sources, to show what exile meant to generations of Russians and other nationalities within the Russian Empire.

“He gives a moving and heart-rending account of what happened to these people, most of whom never returned from Siberia.”

Run by Canada’s McGill University, the international Cundill History Prize rewards the best history writing in English.

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