The Whitbread Book Awards, established in 1971, aim to celebrate and promote the best of British writing. The winners of the Awards for Poetry, Biography, Novel and First Novel are selected in each case by a panel of three judges.The Biography award for 2002 was announced on January 8, 2003


2003 DJ Taylor Orwell: The Life
2002 Claire Tomalin Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self
2001 Diana Souhami Selkirk's Island
2000 Lorna Sage  Bad Blood: A Memoir 
1999 David Cairns Berlioz: Vol. Two
1998 Amanda Foreman Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire
1997 Graham Robb Victor Hugo
1996 Diarmaid MacCulloch Thomas Cranmer: A Life 
1995 Roy Jenkins Gladstone
1994 Brenda Maddox D.H. Lawrence: The Married Man
1993 Andrew Motion Philip Larkin: A Writer's Life
1992 Victoria Glendinning Trollope
1991 John Richardson A Life of Picasso
1990 Ann Thwaite A.A. Milne: His Life
1989 Richard Holmes Coleridge: Early Visions
1988 A.N. Wilson Tolstoy
1987 Christopher Nolan Under the Eye of the Clock
1986 Richard Mabey Gilbert White
1985 Ben Pimiott Hugh Dalton
1984 Peter Ackroyd T.S. Eliot
1983 Victoria Glendinning Vita
1983 Kenneth Rose King George V
1982 Edward Crankshaw Bismark
1981 Nigel Hamilton Monty: The Making of a General
1980 David Newsome On the Edge of Paradise
1979 Penelope Mortimer About Time
1978 John Grigg Lloyd George: The People's Champion
1977 Nigel Nicholson Mary Curzon
1976 Winifred Gerin Elizabeth Gaskell
1975 Helen Corke In Our Fancy
1974 Andrew Boyle Poor Dear Brendan
1973 John Wilson CB: A Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman 
1972 James Pope-Hennessey Trollope
1971 Michael Meyer Henrik Ibsen