Walter Scott historical fiction prize shortlist revealed
Seven books have been shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction.
The winner will be announced at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose later this year.
Jo Baker, Sebastian Barry, Charlotte Hobson, Hannah Kent, Francis Spufford, Graham Swift and Rose Tremain are in the running for the £25,000 prize.
Judges said they had extended the list to seven titles due to the "variety of the longlist".
They said the seven shortlisted novels offered readers "joy in the discovery of unusual subjects and times" as well as appreciation of historical research and a "visceral connection" with their characters.
The seven contenders are:
- Jo Baker - A Country Road, A Tree
- Sebastian Barry - Days Without End
- Charlotte Hobson - The Vanishing Futurist
- Hannah Kent - The Good People
- Francis Spufford - Golden Hill
- Graham Swift - Mothering Sunday
- Rose Tremain - The Gustav Sonata
A statement from the judges said: "Our shortlist was achieved by the judges' instinctive reaction to each book.
"These seven wonderful books encapsulate moments in history in truly unforgettable ways, making the 2017 Walter Scott prize shortlist one to savour.
"The second and final judges' meeting looks set to be as lively as the first."
They will meet again to decide the winner just ahead of its announcement at the Borders Book Festival on 17 June.
The Walter Scott Prize was founded in 2009 by its patrons the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch.
The winner receives £25,000, and shortlisted authors each receive £1,000.