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The Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2020


The Baillie Gifford Prize rewards excellence in non-fiction writing, bringing the best in intelligent reflection on the world to new readers. It covers all non-fiction in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.

The winner of the 2019 Baillie Gifford Prize is Hallie Rubenhold for her book The Five: The Untold Lives of The Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

The Baillie Gifford Prize podcast, Read Smart, explores the increasingly popular world of non-fiction books and follows the Prize throughout the year as it unfolds. Read Smart is hosted by BBC's Razia Iqbal and is generously supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Learn more about the podcast here.

Key Dates

  1. Longlist

  2. Shortlist

  3. Winner


The 2019 Winner

We are delighted to announce Hallie Rubenhold is the winner of the 2019 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction for The Five: The Untold Lives of Women Killed by Jack the Ripper (Doubleday).

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. 

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. 

Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women.

Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories.