Scurr, Ruth

Ruth Scurr

Elected: 2015

Year of birth: 1971

Ruth Scurr is a biographer, historian and literary critic.  Her first book, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution (2006), won the Franco-British Society Literary Prize and was listed among the 100 Best Books of the Decade in The Times in 2009. Her second book, John Aubrey: My Own Life (2015) was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award.  Her third book, Napoleon: A Life in Gardens and Shadows (2021) won the Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award for Biography.  She has regularly reviewed both fiction and non-fiction since 1997, and has judged many literary awards including: the Man Booker Prize (2007), the Samuel Johnson Prize (2014), the Baillie Gifford Prize (2023).  Ruth Scurr is a College Lecturer and Director of Studies in Social and Political Sciences at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where she is a Fellow.

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Fellows are nominated by peers and elected by our Council of writers – our governing Board. Being elected a Fellow of the RSL is a lifetime honour. This role gives them the opportunity to support other writers, readers and the future of literature. The RSL connects writers in the Fellowship to one another, and to a wider readership.