Whitfield Book Prize awarded to John Sabapathy
1 July 2015
Dr John Sabapathy, Lecturer in Medieval History, has been awarded the Whitfield Book Prize for 2015 by the Royal Historical Society for his monograph Officers and Accountability in Medieval England, 1170-1300 (Oxford University Press, 2014). This prize is for a book on British or Irish History and it must be the author's first solely written book.
The judges described John's book as:
"… a hugely rewarding book, sophisticated and important, and one which both demands and repays close attention. At its core, it is a study of the development of procedures of accountability as a means of controlling the conduct of officers, but it uses its subject to present an impressively rich and subtle account of the mentality of government…. The material with which Sabapathy works is unpromising, and the technical skills that he brings to its study are hugely impressive. These skills are matched by larger ambitions. Simply to conceptualize the topic in the way that he has done, and that itself advances the historical agenda, demonstrates extraordinary intellectual skills. The study itself is deeply rich and subtle, with a firm theoretical grounding, and it successfully opens out a range of important historical questions, giving it a resonance well beyond medieval history. Officers and Accountability is a highly original work which will surely stimulate debate and further research for many years; it really is new administrative history."