Benson Medal

The Benson Medal is a medal awarded by the Royal Society of Literature in the UK.[1]

It was founded in 1916 by A. C. Benson who was a Fellow of the Society, to honour those who produce "meritorious works in poetry, fiction, history and belles-lettres".[1] 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 medal is awarded at irregular intervals for lifelong achievement. Recipients include: Edmund Blunden, Anita Desai, Maureen Duffy,[1]E. M. Forster,[2]Christopher Fry,[1]John Gawsworth,[3]Nadine Gordimer, Philip Larkin,[1]R. K. Narayan[4]A. L. Rowse,[5]George Santayana,[1]Wole Soyinka,[6]Lytton Strachey, J. R. R. Tolkien,[1] and Helen Waddell.[7]

In November 2020, the new design for the medal by Linda Crook was unveiled. The design includes books on one side, and people on the other.[8]

Recent recipientsEdit











Earlier recipientsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Benson Medal", The Royal Society of Literature website.
  2. ^ E. M. Forster Archived 7 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine from the Tiscali UK web portal.
  3. ^ Two Kings of Redonda: M. P. Shiel and John Gawsworth, from a University of Iowa website.
  4. ^ Narayan's author biography Archived 9 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine from the Penguin Books website.
  5. ^ A. L. Rowse: Historian and friend - Obituary, a December 2001 Contemporary Review article via
  6. ^ Biography of Wole Soyinka from the website of the Echo Foundation.
  7. ^ Biography of Helen Waddell Archived 3 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine, from the online Dictionary of Ulster Biography.
  8. ^ "Royal Society of Literature » Boyd Tonkin Awarded newly-designed Benson Medal". Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  9. ^ "Royal Society of Literature » The Benson Medal". Retrieved 30 November 2020.
  10. ^ "Queen Mary academic receives prestigious Royal Society of Literature Award", Queen Mary University of London, 25 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Royal Society of Literature » The Benson Medal". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The Benson Medal". The Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Ms. Maureen Duffy". Debretts. Archived from the original on 31 July 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  14. ^ i.e. Dr James Parker, Co-ordinator of the International Public Lending Right Network (IPLR).
  15. ^ "Desai, Anita 1937–". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  16. ^ "University archivist wins top international prize", from the University of Reading website, 19 October 2006.
  17. ^ Publications, Europa (2003). "Fry, Christopher". International Who's Who. ISBN 9781857432176. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  18. ^ Shusaku Endo (May 1996). Silence. ISBN 9780140249521.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "The Benson Medal". Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Wole Soyinka Biography". Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  21. ^ "Nadine Gordimer Biography". Net Industries. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  22. ^ a b Dictionary of National Biography.
  23. ^ "R K Narayan". Penguin India. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Philip Larkin". Experience Literature Poetry. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  25. ^ "Facts and History about Professor Tolkien and his books". Skies of Rohan. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  26. ^ "Benson and hedging: James Fergusson reveals a high profile dispute over the RSL Benson Medal", The Royal Society of Literature.
  27. ^ "E(dward) M(organ) Forster". Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
  28. ^ "London's Book Market". The Argus. 4 April 1931. Retrieved 20 February 2018.

External linksEdit