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Historian’s first book shortlisted in Scotland’s most prestigious literary award

6 October 2014

The first book by a historian at Cardiff University has been shortlisted in the prestigious Saltire Society Book of the Year Awards 2014 in its sister capital city.

Dr Richard Marsden's book Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland's Past reaches a shortlist of just five for the 2014 Saltire Society awards in the History Book of the Year Award category. In prestigious company, other shortlisted writers include broadcasters Sally Magnusson and Kirsty Wark in a variety of categories.

All shortlisted contenders were publically announced today [Saturday 4 October] at Wigtown Book Festival in Edinburgh.

The winner of the History Book of the Year Award supported by the Scottish Historical Review Trust will take a prize of £2,000, with all category winners going on to compete for the coveted Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award supported by Creative Scotland, accompanied by a £10,000 cash prize.

The book from Dr Marsden, historian at the School of History, Archaeology and Religion, gives an insight into how Scottish history was used during the nineteenth century to promote to a national identity that worked with rather than against the dominant unionism of the time.

. Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland's Past is shortlisted in History Book of the Year category alongside Scottish Gods, Religion in the Modern Scotland 1900-2012; Painting the Town, Scottish Urban History in Art; A New Race of Men and Governing Gaeldom: The Scottish Highland and the Restoration State 1600-1688.

The Saltire Society Book Awards ceremony will be held at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh on the evening of Tuesday 11th November, announcing all five category winners before revealing the overall Scottish Book of the Year. Now a highlight in the Scottish literary calendar, the Saltire Literary Awards celebrate the best in new work by writers living and working in Scotland or on a topic strictly related to the nation, in the categories of Research, History, Poetry, First and Literary Book.

The awards are supported by Creative Scotland, Tamdhu Single Malt Scotch Whisky, the Scottish Poetry Library, the British Council Scotland, Scottish Historical Review and and the National Library of Scotland.