THE Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction is celebrating its tenth anniversary by searching for the nation’s favourite historical novel.

Founded in 2009 by the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch along with Borders Book Festival chair Alastair Moffat, the Prize has risen to become one of the UK’s top literary accolades, awarding nearly £300,000 to winning authors over its ten years, and bringing over 150 novels to wider public attention through its longlists and shortlists.

Winners have included Andrea Levy, Robert Harris, Sebastian Barry and Hilary Mantel.

To stimulate debate about this hugely popular genre, the Prize this week launches a poll to find the nation’s favourite historical novel of all time.

Nominations will be open for the rest of the month and anyone can nominate - although the novels can have been published at any time they have to be written in English and set at least 60 years before their first publication, following the Prize’s own rule.

A shortlist of the ten novels with the most nominations will be published in early December, and the poll will then open for voting.

The novel with the most votes will be crowned The Nation’s Favourite Historical Novel in January.

Robert Harris, winner of the 2014 Prize, said: "The range and quality of the books which have not just won but have been shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize is a testament to its importance, and I am immensely honoured that An Officer and a Spy is among them.

"Richard and Elizabeth Buccleuch have created a prize that Scott himself would be proud of - acknowledging historical fiction not just as a musty recreation of the past but as a vital mirror of the present; spreading Scott's renown once again across the literary world; encouraging an extraordinary range of talent; and imbuing the Prize, by their family connection, with a unique atmosphere of hospitality, generosity, friendliness and good companionship."

On founding the Prize a decade ago the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch wanted to celebrate and raise the profile of the genre of historical fiction.

They named the prize after Sir Walter Scott, inventor of the genre, and distant friend and kinsman of the Buccleuch family.

Twice winner Sebastian Barry said: "It seems to me that the prize itself has not only boosted and bolstered the historical novel, but it has begun to define it."

The Duke of Buccleuch believes it is fitting that the search to find the country's favourite historical novel should begin on the 200th anniversary of one of his favourite books.

He said: "This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Ivanhoe, the most widely read and known of all Sir Walter’s novels and, as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the prize with panache, we will think back on our local genius who set it all in motion.

"What a feast of exceptional writing has been showcased in the 10 years since the founding of the Walter Scott Prize, and my wife and I are more grateful than we can say to the brilliant authors, brave judges and passionately engaged readers who have made it so hugely worthwhile.

"Through the alchemy of historical fiction we have, together, crossed centuries and continents and met a cast of characters who I am sure have touched us all in some way or another."

Nominations for your favourite historical novel can be made at