The Benson Medal

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

The following have been awarded Benson medals:

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 La Faye
          Valentina Polukhina

Feb 2015


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