The Benson Medal

The Benson Medal was founded in 1916 by A.C. Benson, scholar, author and RSL Fellow, ‘in respect of meritorious works in poetry, fiction, history and belles lettres’. The medal honours a whole career rather than a single work, has been awarded several times to writers in other languages, and is often awarded those who are not writers, but who have done conspicuous service to literature.

Recipients

1917
Gabriele d’Annunzio
Benito Perez Galdos
Maurice Barres 

1923
Lytton Strachey

1925
Gordon Bottomley
George Santayana

1926
Percy Lubbock
Robert Lynd
Harold Nicolson 

1927
F.A. Simpson
Helen Waddell 

1930
Edmund Blunden

1931
Stella Benson

1934
Edith Sitwell

1938
E.M. Forster
G.M. Young

1939
F.L. Lucas
Andrew Young

1940
John Gawsworth
Christopher Hassall 

1941
Christopher La Farge

1952
F.S. Boas

1966
J.R.R. Tolkien
Rebecca West
E.V. Rieu

1969
Cecil Woodham-Smith

1975
Philip Larkin

1979
R.K. Narayan

1981
Odysseus Elytis
Sacheverell Sitwell

1982
A.L. Rowse

1989
Anthony Burgess
Nadine Gordimer

1990
Wole Soyinka

1993
Julien Green

1996
Shusaku Endo

2000
Christopher Fry

2002
David Sutton
Anita Desai

2004
James Parker
Maureen Duffy

2005
Edward Upward

2006
Ronald Blythe
Joan Winterkorn

2007
Nadine Gordimer

2008
John Saumarez Smith
Douglas Matthews

2009
Mark Le Fanu
Kay Dunbar

2010
Al Alvarez

2011
Diana Athill
Francis King

2012
David Pease
Jenny Uglow

2013
Wm. Roger Louis

2014
Deirdre Le Faye
Valentina Polukhina

2015
Nancy Sladek

2016
Christopher Maclehose